21 September 2013

Are You Kidding Me?

Have you heard the story about the former NFL football player Brian Holloway, who found out that up to 300 teenagers trashed his upstate New York vacation home? 

According to published reports, the kids crashed his property over Labor Day when he and his family were out of town and threw a big party on his property causing up to $20,000 damage, including destroying a number of items. Among the items stolen, according to Holloway, was a granite eagle that was the headstone for his grandson, who died at childbirth.  They also, according to various news reports, urinated on his floors and spray painted on the walls.

The kids posted more than 170 tweets while partying at his house, including one girl who posted a tweet holding the eagle. 

So Holloway, who played for both the New England Patriots and Oakland Raiders, took the various posts and cobbled together the names of the teenagers who trespassed onto his property and published them on a website, as well as gathered some of the names from people coming forward with the identities of students at the party. 
Now, in a twist that seems absolutely unbelievable, the New York Daily News is reporting that a number of the parents of the partying kids are threatening to sue Holloway for publishing the names because it may hamper their little darlings’ chances at getting into college.  Are you kidding me? 

Part of what makes it even more incredible is that these kids had already outted themselves because, as I mention above, they had to document their partying on Twitter and Facebook, because, you know, if you don't post it on social media, it didn't really happen. So the parents are threatening to sue Holloway when all he did was gather public info that their precious, brilliant little offspring had already put out into the world for everyone to see. 

I read this today, a few days after I read this Huffington Post essay about Gen Y’ers and why they are unhappy that has been making the rounds. These kids would be at the tail end of Gen Y and I hate buying into any of the stereotypes assigned to any such generational tag, but one of the traits that would definitely apply to these gate crashers is that their parents have made them feel like they are all very, very special.  

If I had been one of the those 300 kids, my parents would have had me apologizing to Holloway and on that property cleaning up the mess the next day and I would have been grounded for a very long time. These parents may think they’re protecting their kids, but instead they are setting them up for a life of not taking responsibility for their actions and believing that their parents will always be there to bail them out (literally and figuratively). 

Holloway offered the kids a chance to make amends: Today, he was hosting an event at the home to honor veterans and he requested that the kids come and help clean up their damage. You know how many showed up?  One.

Each of these kids should have to serve some kind of community service. I suggest they do something that will teach them a little respect for their elders. 

Today’s $10 goes to the Boston chapter of  Little Brothers: Friends of the Elderly.  Little Brothers is a non-sectarian program that pairs senior citizens with younger people —teenagers on up, male and female — who do everything from take them on doctors’ visits, escort them to social activities, and, in general, help decrease their sense of isolation. 

Sept. 21: Little Brothers of the Elderly http://boston.littlebrothers.org/index.html

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