“In some families teenage parties cause concern and controversy.”
With these opening words, Scotch parents drafted the pamphlet Successful Teenage Gatherings. It can be downloaded from the School’s web page. It is also available in hard copy from Mr R McLaren. Since these guidelines were drafted, teenage networking has increased exponentially with dramatic results.
I read today that under the guidance of his new manager, Corey Worthington is embarking on a national tour with the aim of earning up to $100,000 this year. “Who is Corey Worthington?” did you ask? You must have been holidaying on the moon. Corey is a 16-year-old who achieved astonishing international notoriety during the school holidays running his own party. His parents were absent interstate.
Corey chose not to use the Scotch guidelines for Successful Teenage Gatherings. He publicised his party on MySpace and SMS – acquiring a kind of pyramid publicity. It worked. The party attracted about 500 young people and the ensuing chaos attracted about 30 police, including the Dog Squad. Police cars were damaged and the police helicopter was called in. Eventually, the media arrived too. All of a sudden Corey, in his furry-edged hoody and yellow-rimmed sunnies was Narre Warren’s best known celebrity.
Now “Australia’s most marketable teen”, he has given up his plans to be an apprentice carpenter. His manager says, “he will host and DJ parties in Sydney and Brisbane over the next two months with another in Melbourne on his 17th birthday on March 21. Parties in Adelaide and Perth are also planned”. He has also endured a bashing, filmed (on a phone) and replayed ad nauseum on A Current Affair.
While players in the drama are Corey’s peers, his parents, the community, the police and the media, Corey is the central figure, an icon for the media to play with; but of what is he an icon? Does he represent mere naivete or is it ignorance, irresponsibility, even anarchy? For me, the option is ignorance. There are things he does not know. There are vital elements of his education that are tragically absent.
Corey is ignorant of any social responsibility. Teenagers ought to know about this, at least in theory, and should have to experience controlled implementation as they negotiate situations with parents. Corey appears to know nothing of this. This may not be his fault alone.
Corey’s unlearned lessons are primarily the responsibility of parents. Lessons of mutual trust and respect should be learned first in the home and family life then affirmed by pre- and primary school teachers. Managing a classroom is very difficult if this is left to the teachers. If a boy reaches secondary school with these lessons unlearned then teachers have a difficult job indeed... and many do.
It appears from Corey’s networking that he has a large number of peers who share his ignorance of trust and respect. While the stoning of delinquent sons is no longer seen as an acceptable response to this situation, there is arguably a case for pillorying the media for their brutal exploitation of one boy’s ignorance and apathy. Ah well, that’s market forces. Jesus, help us bring other forces to bear as we shape our children’s will without breaking their spirit.
Raising children is best handled with prayer. Why not join me at the Prayer Breakfast on Friday 14 March? *
President: Peter Dawson
Newsletter Editor: Elissa McCallum
‘pdf’ on ScotchNET
Scotch College: ABN 86 852 826 445 ACN 005 650 395 CRICOS 00624A (Commonwealth Register of Institutions and Courses for Overseas Students)