Random Thoughts and Musings by moi

Musings by a feisty, opinionated Deaf gal who wants nothing but the best for her community and her people

jeudi 4 janvier 2007

Little Pitchers...

I've been following all the comments and posts about the Bay Area gala event with great interest. The person who can be credited (or blamed, depending on your perspective) is Chris Leon with a roar posted the day of the gala, several hours before it began. While I, naturally, am stunned at the viciousness of some of the attacks and have thoughts (largely echoed by Saunière) about the need to explore issues with respect and dignity, I wanted to highlight one aspect of all this that has yet to be addressed.

Soneone posted, saying he/she is a CSD Fremont student and said something to the effect of "We young 'uns do read this stuff, y'know..."

That embarrassed me. It really embarrassed me. It made me ask myself this:

What kind of role models are we?

As someone who works with school-age students, I instantly wondered if any of my current and former students are reading this and/or penning comments behind some of these pseudonyms. If they are, they are witnessing firsthand that all my exhortations about the need to be respectful while stating one's perspective and disagreeing with someone else are unnecessary and that adults do not do this. They are learning that it is OK to attack. It is OK to be cruel and insult others. After all, this is what adults do.

My usual style thus far while blogging has been to present ideas and thoughts for discussion, but I must step out of that mold for a minute to ask this:

If you had ANY part in attacking the Bay Area or individuals in the Bay Area, what have you taught the next generation of deaf people? Think long and hard about this.

We, no matter whether it's in person, online using our real names, or online using pseudonyms, all have a responsibility toward future generations of deaf people. We need to be showing them how adults can have a reasoned dialogue and disagree with civility. Chris Leon's post and Deaf Tea Time's first post on the topic, as well as most of the comments there, are not appropriate models, in my opinion. Deaf Tea Time redeemed herself somewhat with her public apology, which was a wonderful example to set for future generations.

I'll get off the soapbox now, but every single one of you (myself included) need to be mindful of the example we set for deaf people in high school, college, and younger. *click* Preach mode off now.