... not necessarily the citizens or the landscape, but the cops and school officials who are issuing $100 fines to kids who swear in school.
Lame. I know school is about busy work and baby sitting and kids being seen but not heard but if we're a country that pushes the glory of "freedom of speech" and intelligent conversation then our actions should support that. If you are thinking kids swearing in school is not "intelligent conversation," consider why they are there in the first place. To learn. Teach them "reasoning" before you chastise them for not having it. If they have become frustrated with school, is the BEST solution to bring in a cop who acts like a prick and mails an unexpected bill to the child's family? It's another quick fix that doesn't actually fix anything, aside from ensuring the cop's paycheck will clear.
I've been meaning to write about children being 2nd class citizens. It hurts me when I'm pushing a cart through the grocery store and someone's kid is in the middle of the aisle, the parent suddenly realizes the kid is blocking the way and practically rips the kid's arm out of its socket so I can pass. You don't need to do that. Worse is when my kid is blocking the aisle and someone comes along and gives me a stare like "Why aren't you ripping his arm out of its socket so I can pass?" My kids may be three feet tall but guess what? They are still people. Even my two-year-old is familiar with the phrase "Excuse me." I know they are intimidating with all that promise in their eyes and pudgy little limbs but it's your chance to be the bigger person and acknowledge that they have the human right to occupy a minimal amount of space (I was going to go on about parents being 3rd class peoples but I'll save that for another time).
Things aren't going to work until all groups of people are treated AS people (even kids). I know we are a lazy society that always looks for the path of least resistence but that route always leads to the sewer, not a utopia. Treat them like people in the first place and maybe they won't get in your face that way. Until then, we're all just bricks in the wall.