Just Me

Just Me
Look,I'm just sayin'

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

mistake ?

 It was in the news yesterday and I have been mulling the answer over every since. I don't recall the names but that isn't important. The story was about this young lady being denied the privilege of walking across the graduation stage with her fellow classmates. This was being denied because she was pregnant. Well, that was the headline, the lead in to the story. It immediately did its' job and got my attention. Hey, what's up with that ? Although there are many that would disagree I am not that old fashioned in my thinking that she should be denied. Naturally there is a lot more to the story.
 This school is first and foremost a Christian school. It is a private school as well. The " rules " of conduct were well known and published. An agreement to abide by these rules was signed by all the parties involved. The young ladies father was a member of the school board ! One of the rules was that there was to be no premarital sex. When she became pregnant it was obvious that the rule had been broken. She was subsequently expelled from school and denied attendance at the graduation ceremony. The father, feeling his daughter is being unjustly treated, quit the board. In an interview with the news this young lady was pleading her case. She told of being a straight A student, how hard she had worked at that and how she just made a mistake. It was her feeling that by choosing to have the baby, and not an abortion she should be rewarded for that decision, not penalized.
 I could understand her logic and sympathize with her. What I have a problem with is her statement that I just made a mistake. To me, the thing is it was done knowingly and willingly. She doesn't claim anyone forced, influenced or otherwise made her perform this act, this mistake. If you break the " rules " or " law " willingly is that a mistake ? Not in my book it isn't, it is a decision. And that is where the problem lies for me. If you are now going to dismiss the law because you made a mistake where do you draw the line on that ?  I can't but think that as sad a situation as it is that she should be held to account. Her Dad quit the board in protest. But what is he protesting ? That a student violated the rules and is now being punished for that violation ? Would he have done the same if it wasn't his daughter ? Is this the first young lady that has committed this offense ? If not, what happened with the other cases ? She was pleading that she was a straight A student, should that status give her preferential treatment ? She was also a member of the student council should that position separate her from others ? The answer to those questions is of course, no.
 The more I thought about this the more I grew convinced that the punishment is just. The code of conduct is clear and she clearly violated that code. To use the excuse it was a mistake as justification doesn't hold water with me. I believe the father is sending the wrong message as well. It's is all well and good to support your daughter, give her your unconditional love, that is as it should be but to send the message it is okay to violate the rules ? Sorry, I don't think so. I think what should be done is use this as a learning experience. If you truly believe the code of conduct that you swore to abide by is unfair,work to change the code. You have to accept the consequences of your actions. The vindication comes later on, after you get that code changed.
 As I wrote the other day emotions are strong motivators but seldom good decision makers. Her decision was obviously based in emotion. I'm certain she felt like she was " in love " at the time. Even though she was well aware of the " commitment " she had made to the school she disregarded that promise. She is a senior, so she is 17 or 18 certainly old enough to understand these things. She will still receive her diploma which she earned. I feel bad for her that she will not get to walk across that stage with her classmates. But, that is an emotional response. If you were to allow her to do that wouldn't you then just open the door for everyone else to do the same ? If I am running a Christian school, attempting to teach and instill Christian values, do I want to do that ? Do I change the code of conduct ? No, much like a responsible parent I will hold the child accountable. No matter how much emotional distress that action may cause myself it is my duty to do so. The most important lesson to be learned in all of this is a simple one, your word is your most valuable asset. You swore to the code and so must abide by that code. If you no longer wish to abide by that code you must inform the organization. If that organization then says you can no longer be a member, that is the price to be paid. You really don't get to violate the code, call it a mistake, and suffer no consequence. Was getting pregnant a mistake ? Maybe, maybe not, but the mistake was in breaking the code of conduct. And that is what the punishment is all about.