What’s wrong with teenagers today?

Editor, The News:

Re: Teen douses kitchen fire (The News, July 15).

I would be grossly remiss to say that all youth are bad, especially the story of the teen who doused the fire.

But my experience last week compelled me to write and tell some parents to teach their kids some manners.

Between the rain deluges on Thursday, I decided to walk from my home off Ford Road to the local market on Harris Road. As I passed the 7-11 Store on Harris, I noted a group of four or five young men smoking in front of the store. None appeared to be older than 16 and my thought was, “I wonder who they conned into buying smokes for them.”

Nonetheless, I did my shopping, then headed back home, westbound on Ford Road. Halfway home, there was a group of youth approaching. As they got closer I recognized them as the group from 7-11.

They walked four abreast on the sidewalk and as we neared I waited for them to move aside slightly so that I wouldn’t have to step on to the wet lawn to my right. So I stopped and stood my ground.

The youth closest to me side-stepped ever so slightly, but managed to shoulder me hard enough to almost knock me off my feet and left me with a sore shoulder.

As they continued on their path I yelled, “Hey, you don’t own the sidewalk.”

Which was promptly returned with: ‘F*** you!”

Is it youth or gang mentality? Would this same individual have been so rude if on his own? I doubt it.

I was raised in the ’60s and ’70s, taught right from wrong, and, heaven forbid, even received an occasional spanking for major misdemeanors.

Don’t tell me it’s because parents are never home and kids are latchkey because I was one sometimes growing up.

Are parents nowadays just too lenient, too afraid of punishing their kids, or just don’t care?

I shudder at the thought of this incident happening to an elderly senior and the resulting consequences.

Janet Veillet

Pitt Meadows