From Where I Sit – Not Likely

In the May 29 issue of the Edmonton Journal there appeared a half-page photo story with the headline, ?Chinese teen defaces Egyptian temple art.?

The story has since appeared on TV. In a nutshell, a 15-year-old boy from Nanjing, China scratched, ?Ding Jinhao visited here? onto the wall of a 3,500-year-old temple.

The vandalism got international attention when another Chinese tourist posted a photo of the damage on a blog with these comments: ?My saddest moment in Egypt. Ashamed and unable to show my face.? That led to thousands of comments and the identification of the teen. Since then a journalist with Shanghai Television, the communist People’s Daily newspaper, and Wang Yang, Deputy Premier, have weighed in.

Even more newsworthy to me is the public apology from the boy’s father. He said, ?The child has committed a mistake and the main responsibility falls on the adults. It was because we did not supervise him well, and have not taught him well.?

That sounds suspiciously like a parent taking responsibility. Will wonders never cease? Does anyone remember a North American parent doing likewise? Not me.

This hits pretty close to home, as Roy is contemplating laying assault charges with the RCMP. Recently he confronted four youth trespassing on our land, and the encounter wasn’t pleasant. Using dirt bikes and quads, they had snuck onto our land and were having fun ripping around our gravel pit. With huge open pits filled with water as deep as 18 feet, we were acutely aware of the danger. Driving bikes up the side of piles as tall as 25 feet could lead to a rollover.

They refused to provide their names or explain why they were trespassing. They seemed dumbfounded at the suggestion that this was wrong. Roy had the foresight to take their photos with his iPhone. They had no license plates. No one apologized or expressed remorse.

In fact, the oldest was yappy and disrespectful. When he covered Roy with a spray of gravel as he tore away, it became a police matter. The RCMP have identified and talked to him and are recommending charges. Apparently ?this apple didn’t fall far from the tree.? Not likely to get parental responsibility here, from where I sit.

Hazel Anaka’s first novel is Lucky Dog. Visit her website for more information or follow her on Twitter @anakawrites.

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