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05 Dec

Recently, three freshman members of the UCLA basketball team, while playing in China, were arrested for shoplifting. You can read some of the details here. Later on, it came out that these fine young representatives of our nation didn’t just impulsively shoplift one time, they hit three different stores during their short international crime spree. So, at least for the second and third time, it was premeditated.

When asked about it, the parent of one of these lads, LaVar Ball (yes, that same outspoken parental paragon who has been in the news mismanaging the expectations of his older son’s NBA career), said, and I quote, “It ain’t no big deal.”

Really? Not a big deal? Your son just created an international incident in a country with whom our relations on their best day can be considered “lukewarm.” He made a conscious decision to steal in a country where justice is what the government thinks it is, proving he’s not only dishonest but either really stupid or really misinformed.

“It ain’t no big deal.”

Well, LaVar, I tend to disagree.

Mr. Ball’s quote says a lot in the four real words used (“ain’t” is not a word, and I refuse to count it). It says, “I didn’t teach my son right from wrong.” It also says, “Integrity and honesty aren’t really important to me.” And it preaches loud and clear a message that is all too obvious to me, now in my fourth year of teaching high school. Some parents just don’t get it.

My son is only 4 years old, so the chances of him traveling internationally don’t come up much. But you can bet that if he or is older sister (she’s 9) ever shoplifted, around the world or around the corner, it would be a BIG FREAKING DEAL.

Our JOB as parents is to teach our children right from wrong. The teachers at school and the coaches after school and the Sunday school teachers on the weekend can all supplement the message, but it needs to start at home. If your college age son didn’t learn from your lips or your hand that dishonesty and stealing is wrong, you failed as a parent, and I don’t care how many points he puts up or how many sneakers you sell.

As for the apology, it sounded more like they were sorry they got caught than true remorse, but will save that for another rant.  Let’s hope UCLA shows more character than Mr. Ball when determining the actual length of these three knuckleheads’ “indefinite suspension.”

2 Responses to Sir, I respectfully disagree…

  1. Alan Vancil

    December 5, 2017 at 1:59 am

    Well said old friend!!!

    • Pam Parolari

      December 5, 2017 at 4:47 am

      Right on point, Rob. Having worked for you I know what a leader you are. I’m glad that leadership is being shared with your high school students and I know their lives will be much the richer for it .

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