Immorality at my school. Help?


#1

What should I do?

The majority of people at my school, even my closest friends, are rude, disgusting, perverted, and blasphemous. These are the people I sit near at lunch, and talk to throughout the day. (Public School)

I have two friends in different classes who are a bit ‘cleaner’.

I usually nod along, jokingly condemning their behavior. Sometimes less jokingly.

Am I obligated out of charity to sit with these people and talk with them? Like Jesus ate with the tax collectors and harlots?

Or should I avoid them because of their immoral behavior, like the apostles taught us to do?


#2

[quote=RomanRiteTeen]What should I do?

The majority of people at my school, even my closest friends, are rude, disgusting, perverted, and blasphemous. These are the people I sit near at lunch, and talk to throughout the day. (Public School)

I have two friends in different classes who are a bit ‘cleaner’.

I usually nod along, jokingly condemning their behavior. Sometimes less jokingly.

Am I obligated out of charity to sit with these people and talk with them? Like Jesus ate with the tax collectors and harlots?

Or should I avoid them because of their immoral behavior, like the apostles taught us to do?
[/quote]

You don’t have to give them up because they are using rude words or gestures.
Jesus said it’s not what goes into us that makes us unclean, but what comes out of us.
It seems there is a lot of bad language coming out of your friends mouths, just don’t add to it.
Don’t swear back just to be cool, people that use swear language anyway sometimes have a limited vocabulary.
You could change the subject, but don’t isolate yourself, because if you do then you could be the one being verbally abused.
It’s easy to be drawn in, we’ve all been there, but as the Bible says, don’t add fuel to the fire.
Sometimes it’s better to be silent and not to respond, but you will be walking a tightrope in not wanting to appear holier than thou, and pleasing your friends.
So I wish you all the best with that one.


#3

Have you made an effort to make friends with kids who share your values?

I realize this can be difficcult, because teens who follow Christ are typically labelled “Losers” and treated as outcasts. Be comforted with the knowledge that if the world hates you it’s because it hated Jesus first. He warned His apostles that following Him would be rough.

Jesus did associate with sinners. He did this to call them to change their lives. By hanging out with this group, are you helping them change?

I recommend you spend time with Jesus in the Eucharist. Ask Him to tell you what to do. It will soon become clear whether He wants you to stay with this group for their benefit or if He wants you to distance yourself (again, for their benefit and for yours).


#4

Believe it or not, you can be a beacon…You know the proverbial, this little light of mine, I am going let it shine stuff!
More than likely, there are some like minded kids like you out there just as timid to buck the peer system of rudeness and immorality because it would be considered uncool.

My suggestion, be yourself. When you are uncomfortable with their behavior, tell them. Say to you buddies,when they are behaving badly or making you feel uncomfortable, that you are trying to make a change in your life and you need their help to reach your goal. Would they be willing to help. .I am going to use a code word like…ORANGE…When they hear you say that word …it should set off in their minds that you are uncomfortable with the way the conversation is leading…Like finishing the sentence “O-RANGE” WE GOING TO CHANGE THE TOPIC OR I will have to leave. More than likely, if they are friends, they will play along…and in the long run, your whole group will benefit from it. Or loudly say…UNCOOL! And the others will catch your drift. But you have to be the leader in order for this to work. It has and will work if you do it consistently.


#5

[quote=stbruno]Believe it or not, you can be a beacon…You know the proverbial, this little light of mine, I am going let it shine stuff!
More than likely, there are some like minded kids like you out there just as timid to buck the peer system of rudeness and immorality because it would be considered uncool.

My suggestion, be yourself. When you are uncomfortable with their behavior, tell them. Say to you buddies,when they are behaving badly or making you feel uncomfortable, that you are trying to make a change in your life and you need their help to reach your goal. Would they be willing to help. .I am going to use a code word like…ORANGE…When they hear you say that word …it should set off in their minds that you are uncomfortable with the way the conversation is leading…Like finishing the sentence “O-RANGE” WE GOING TO CHANGE THE TOPIC OR I will have to leave. More than likely, if they are friends, they will play along…and in the long run, your whole group will benefit from it. Or loudly say…UNCOOL! And the others will catch your drift. But you have to be the leader in order for this to work. It has and will work if you do it consistently.
[/quote]

Thanks all for the advice. I should have used the word ‘associates’ as opposed to the more tolerant and few friends. It’s mainly the group I sit near and joke around with at lunch.


#6

As a guy who played varsity baseball in college, my friends were basically my teammates since we all spent so much time together. Our team tended to have one of the lower reputations on campus as far as morality. You just have to stick to your values and don’t lower yourself. It’s funny, I was definitely the most straight edged guy on the team by far, yet I was popular with everyone. Strangely enough, you’d be surprised how much people will respect your beliefs and behavior when you stand firm and aren’t compromising, even if they don’t agree with you. Haha, especially if your reason is religious, people usually won’t argue with that (unless they’re on an apologetics message board!:stuck_out_tongue: )


#7

By remaining true to your convictions and to your faith you are sending out a very strong message. You are bearing witness by your silence and by you not adding to their ways of behaviour.

Jesus asked us to be the light of the world and by remaining with them and holding fast to your convictions in their midst you are doing just that. Remember His words my friend:

"[size=1][size=1][size=1][size=1][size=2]You are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven".[/size][/size][/size][/size][/size]


Continuing being the light of the world.

God Bless you.


#8

You don’t have to fit in or bear with abuse for the sake of charity. Giving your other cheek could be a sign of charity, but you don’t have any obligation to seek the company of people by whom you are being abused. You can suffer the bad behaviour for the sake of leading people (back) to the light with good example, but you don’t have to give a yes to anything which is wrong. I would try to avoid any sort of contempt and judging individuals. Perhaps you might wish to focus on what’s wrong and what the source of the problem is rather than on the names it can be given. Those people aren’t doomed. Perhaps they aren’t reverent, well-mannered or aesthetically gifted, but they may well have different good qualities. I’ve come across atheists with more respect for religion than many religious people have, Catholics turned atheists with more appreciation for Catholic morals than many practicing believers, and poor-mannered people with more kindness than those trained in etiquette and social skills. Many of those people whose behaviour or attitude I’ve been unable to stand are probably better people and/or better Christians than I am. They just seem to have had not enough instruction or inspiration on some things in life.


#9

hey i know exactly what you mean, i experience the same thing. basically what i would try to do, is let you good friends know independently that you do not appriciate things like excessive swearing or taking the Lord’s name in vain or inappropriate jokes. then if in a group, something is said in a group, dont laugh or encourage them, but kinda let your body language know you disapprove, do you know what i mean? i find this makes those laughing at the joke feel uncomfortable, and my good friends know why and understand, genuine friends would not outcast you for your beliefs.


#10

Your well being is at stake. You need some good “comebacks”. You can obtain verbal skills online.

Check out www.bullyonline.org and www.taxi1010.org

BullyOnline is out of England. Read what a bullie does, his/her characteristics, how to recognize when you’re being bullied.

Taxi1010 is out of the U.S., a brother and sister team. He’s a San Francisco cab driver and is insulted daily. His sister is the artist (the links throughout the site are her art).

I’m a mom - our daughter is turning 15 in 3 mos. - and this is a topic that I can get real worked up over: peer pressure and harassment. :rolleyes:

I survived the 1960’s and it was very hard because I didn’t smoke pot or take LSD. My friends and acquaintenances would get into conversations like, “Man, we were up smokin’ pot all night . . .” It may sound corny but some of my friends would look up to me, saying things like, “How do you do it? You’re really strong.” I hung out because I loved the fun and the music. :dancing:

But in your case, you’ve got a daily onslaught of verbal abuse! Honest!

Here are some things you can do. Find your school’s written policy regarding behavior. It’s in the school’s ‘student handbook’.

If these kids are talking dirty, remind them - one-on-one - that your school district has rules about language. Let your parents “take the heat” – we tell that to our daughter all the time. Tell your friends that if your parents caught you talking like that you wouldn’t be allowed to hang out with them.

We’ve advised our daughter to stay away from groups of kids because they get caught up in back-stabbing, gossip, and being mean. Choose to hang out with one friend at a time.

If you are really bugged and disgusted, you may need to spend less time with these folks to remain your authentic self. After a while, your anger will build and build - you may want to get some assertiveness training. :ehh:

Have you tried carrying around a paperback novel or a serious magazine, like National Review. Just have it available to pick up, start reading, to shut them out? :whistle: Just be reading all the time. :nerd:

Does your school have clubs that meet weekly? Pick one that sounds safe. Anything with the phrase “diversity” or “cultural” will be very biased.

Spend one lunch hour a week at a school club meeting.

Our daughter joined the Republican Club on campus and they’re conservative, pleasant teens. If you don’t have one, call the GOP and tell them you want to start one on campus. There is also a club with a connection to the Rotary. Plus, a club that connects with Habitat for Humanity and does a community service project.


#11

I’m a public high school teacher in a smallish-mostly conservative city. I, too, am APPALLED at the language and comments kids (and some teachers) make. I can’t believe they think I would find some of their comments funny!

I am not “old”, but when I was in high school (in a bigger city no less) in the late 80s–I NEVER heard the degree of swearing, or rude comments (to other students or to the teachers), or sexual refrences, or drug lifestyle “worship”–that I hear everyday! It’s really unbelievable! Between classes, I can’t go from my classroom to the office (about 35 yards) without hearing at least two swear words–I mention it often to the offender, but there is little support from administrators (they’ve got bigger fish to fry than soaping up dirty mouths). You learn to block it out, but I still have difficulty after a decade of teaching.

I make it clear on the 1st day of class that I tolerate a lot of things–but I WILL NOT tolerate foul language, and I correct it in my class 100% of the time. The thing is, half the time they either don’t know they’ve said it (out of habit) or they don’t recognize it’s even inappropriate.

I know how you feel, RRT, but you can’t fix the world. Make an impact where you can, and pray for the rest of them. There’s a lot of good advice so far on this thread!

I pray for my students, but I should probably do it more. Thanks for the inspiration!


#12

[quote=RomanRiteTeen]What should I do?

The majority of people at my school, even my closest friends, are rude, disgusting, perverted, and blasphemous. These are the people I sit near at lunch, and talk to throughout the day. (Public School)

I have two friends in different classes who are a bit ‘cleaner’.

I usually nod along, jokingly condemning their behavior. Sometimes less jokingly.

Am I obligated out of charity to sit with these people and talk with them? Like Jesus ate with the tax collectors and harlots?

Or should I avoid them because of their immoral behavior, like the apostles taught us to do?
[/quote]

RomanRiteTeen, I am in the same situation as you. The sad thing is, however, that I attend a Catholic high school…

I don’t think that you should stop “hanging out” with them, if that’s what you would call it. As the hymn goes: “They will know we are Christians by our love.” Christianity isn’t a secret society or an exclusive club, it is open to everyone, as long as the person accepts the beliefs. Continue to be friends with them, or to socialize with them (or whatever), but don’t integrate their ways with yours.


#13

[quote=AsStAnselmPrays]RomanRiteTeen, I am in the same situation as you. The sad thing is, however, that I attend a Catholic high school…
[/quote]

Same here, same problem. I finally climbed out of the hole of cussing, dirty jokes, and such. It took effort, and all of my friends noticed a change in the way I acted around them. But, they also know of my confidence, willingness to say what mean (and I can be blunt, sometimes too blunt), and stand up for what I believe. Thus, they don’t push the issue: they don’t ask me to go drinking on the weekends, they don’t ask me to do drugs, they don’t ask me to do any of the illegal and immoral things that they have gotten into. You don’t have to leave your friends, but make it infinitely clear how you plan on living your life, and be ready to back it up. I only once had my friend call me on my devotion to God, and it was in regards to abstaining from meat on Fridays during Lent. He was eating beef jerky (and he’s Catholic). I mentioned that he shouldn’t do that. About five minutes later, he (and yes, it was an attack) tried to say that it was ok that he was eating meat because Catholocism is based around cannibalism anyway. So, I left his head spinning with more Apologetics than he’s heard in his life, and that was that. He had no response, and walked away before I even finished. None of my friends even attempt to get me to do something wrong. It wasn’t easy to change, but well worth the effort. And, if you can change any of them in the process, brownie points.:thumbsup:

Eamon


#14

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