By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Editor’s notes: It seems 100 years or so ago
editor's notes

It seems 100 years or so ago when I heard a former Georgia State Patrol commander tell a bunch of deputies at a banquet that their jobs probably weren’t going to get any easier.

Instead, he told them they had the thankless task of riding herd on a population growing in both size and restlessness.

That was in 1996 or thereabouts, which is when I heard for the first time about saltwater intrusion into the Floridan Aquifer and state efforts to curtail growth in the Coastal Empire to try and curb use of water, one of this area’s precious natural resources.

Naturally, neither growth nor the use of the resource has been curbed, and the restless population hereabouts has probably come close to quadrupling since the mid 1990s, back when you could still drive from my house to Richmond Hill or Pembroke in less than half an hour.

No such luck nowadays. The other day it took me an hour to get home from the office, and traffic wasn’t even terrible. Some days it takes two hours. Sometimes it can take two hours to get the six miles from my house to I-95. Sometimes it seems like it can take 20 minutes to get from the crossroads at 17 and 144 to I-95.

It all depends on things I have no control over so I try not to turn into Michael Douglas in “Falling Down,” a 1993 flick in which his character goes, well, nuts, and starts stomping across Los Angeles carrying a briefcase. If you haven’t seen the movie give it a watch. It and the satire “Idiocracy” tend to sum up some days around Coastal Georgia quite nicely. Anyhow, that GSP commander was right on all counts.

That’s not the case with a principal who told me 20 years ago there would come a time very soon when people wouldn’t want to become public school teachers because of the outrageous behavior of parents.

She could be excused for thinking along those lines at that particular time. It was late on a Friday night, half an hour after an assistant high school football coach body slammed the father of a player after the father and another man — apparently a relative — got into a discussion about the merits of the coaching. That led the parent to jump the fence and the coach to emphatically plant him into the turf. And who knows what the woman had put up with all week.

I just recall her sitting in the bleacher, looking tired and fed up and wondering aloud why it is that some adults act far worse than their kids. But she was no Nostradamus, as it turned out. People are still signing up to teach.

And depending on what study you look at, teachers are quitting or thinking about quitting at higher rates than ever. The reason? Stress, mostly.

If you’re not getting it from kids who don’t want to be taught, you’re getting it from parents who think they know everything.

That reminds me of something else I was told in the mid 90s from a detective at the Effingham County Sheriff’s Office.

I was there to go through police reports, and watched as a teen was led into the detective’s office by a deputy, and behind him were the kid’s parents. The door was shut.

A half hour or so later the kid and his parents and the deputy emerged, and the detective came over to where I sat still wading through incident reports.

“You know why I have a deputy in the room with me anytime I interview a juvenile?” the detective asked me.

Nope, I said. Tell me. “Twenty years ago I had a deputy in there to keep the parents from killing the kid for being a suspect in a crime,” he said. “Now I have a deputy in there to keep them from killing me for daring to think their little angel could commit a crime.”

That was close to 30 years ago and those little angels are the grownups now, some no doubt with little angels of their own.

Maybe there’s a link in there somewhere.

Sign up for our E-Newsletters