As a parent and teacher, I am always looking for real life
incidents that provide teachable moments on values, manners, proper
conduct, and not following the crowd. The following true story is full
of many teachable moments not only for students but for adults too.
Richfield Springs McDonald’s is in a strategic location enabling
visiting sports teams to stop for dinner on their way home after
competing at local schools. It is not uncommon Between 5 and 10 p.m. to
see an occasional school bus stopped there. Three crew members were
working at McDonald’s on a week night not long ago when a school bus
pulled in to the parking lot. The team entered McDonald’s where other
local patrons were already enjoying dinner with their families.
After ordering their food the team proceeded to be
totally disrespectful with actions involving throwing food, papers,
wiping food on the windows, coming out of the bathroom with their pants
around their ankles, and using loud, bawdy language which caused
families and diners to leave. Where were the team’s coach and the bus
driver? Reportedly they got their complimentary meals provided by
McDonald’s and returned to the bus to eat there.
can we turn this incident around to all learn from it? If children are
raised and behave in their homes like this, we cannot expect them to
behave any different in a restaurant. How often have you been sitting
in a restaurant and had children running around playing tag while
parents sit oblivious to what’s occurring? If your child were part of a
team where this sort of behavior was occurring would he join in? Could
the team have been made to pick up their mess after they were finished
and leave the restaurant in better condition? Another issue is to make
sure our schools have athletic policies that state that if the team
stops to eat while en route from an away game the coaches remain in a
supervisory role and oversee their team’s behavior.
As patrons we have to be bold in our
responsibilities, too. We shouldn’t be afraid to speak to players if
their behavior is lewd and unacceptable and we should do what my source
for this story did. Just write down the name of the school on the side
of the bus and call the superintendent, athletic director and principal
to report the incident and demand investigation and some sort of
apology to the restaurant.
Students need to know that
their behavior at sporting events, on field trips, and on any off
campus event reflects the school they attend. An entire school district
receives a bad rap if our students exhibit bad language and behavior in
public. Lastly if we are in a restaurant and see a team with coaches
behaving well, approaching the team even as a complete stranger and
complimenting them on their good behavior and wishing them luck on the
remainder of their season can work wonders.
superintendent of the school involved was called and in return the
McDonald’s of Richfield Springs received an apology for what transpired
at the restaurant.
Teachable moments occur
everywhere and helping our youth become people of integrity and good
character is everyone’s responsibility. If we don’t model how we wish
our youth to behave, we can only blame ourselves when incidents like