Don't Paint All Teenagers With A Broad Stroke

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Recently, the Roundup received a number of letters, phone calls and e-mails about an incident that took place at a local fast food restaurant, involving a 71-year-old man who according to reports was terribly mistreated by four young people.
From what we understand, a high school student who was a customer at the restaurant was verbally and physically abusive to an older gentleman. All the while, his three friends cheered on his vulgar behavior and no one did anything to stop it.
Clearly those who witnessed the incident were concerned for the man's safety and frustrated by the lack of response from other customers standing nearby as well as the restaurant staff who could have helped.
As is our policy on submitted opinions, we did not name the restaurant. But in this case, we were impressed that the restaurant owners made themselves accountable and were not afraid to step up and take responsibility for what happened.
The restaurant, McDonald's, submitted a letter published on this page with an apology. We also learned that the staff worked with the police department to identify the young customer, who has now been cited for the offense.
No one likes to see things like this happen, and surely there are people both customers and restaurant employees who wish they would have taken more positive action that day.
And while it's rare to see a business take responsibility and an offender made accountable, it's important to remember that these kinds of incidents are also rare in our community. You can look through the pages of most any edition of the Roundup and read about the good things many of our youth are involved in music programs, church missions, town and volunteer projects, etc. The majority of our young people are responsible and decent. That doesn't mean they won't make mistakes; they're just young and learning.
Let's not paint our entire youth population with a broad stroke.

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