Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Eeek! Blind Corners!

A well-written article from the military----

PTA finds Chatan Town has problems not caused by Americans
Date Posted: 2008-02-26

A weekend research gathering by 20 members of the Chatan Town PTA turned up information about their youngsters that shocked them.

Allegations against an American Marine accused in the rape of a 14-year-old schoolgirl earlier this month in Chatan Town set the PTA Union into action to survey what was happening in their community. PTA Union Chairman Yasuo Nakachi led the group, comprised of advisory council committee members from the town’s elementary and junior high school, on a Saturday and Sunday visit to dozens of locations frequented by youngsters.

Visits to game centers, the business zone and popular restaurants prompted questions like “Are there a lot of Americans visiting here?” “Do Americans come to your shop?” and “Are there any junior high school kids around here?” The answers were ‘yes’ to kids frequently the areas, and fewer about Americans. More worrisome to the survey teams was discovery that “there were many kids smoking in this area, and there were places with blind corners around parks and schools.”
Other on the team reported “schools and even public toilets had many cigarette butts, and walls were scrawled with various phrases.” The members also heard reports that many parents actually bring their young children to the dark areas late at night, leading them to the conclusion Americans are not the only ones with problems, but Okinawan families as well.

“Parents and children should talk more, and parents should be protecting their children,” Nakachi says. “Parents should not let children go out late at night.” A team member added “we need to patrol daily, and take much more time to check dangerous places, make safety maps for children, and then give them to families. Everyone needs to have the map to protect the children.”

I'm annoyed by the PTA and I haven't even been in Okinawa for seven months. Heaven forbid that their own children might be causing problems, like *gasp* smoking! Obviously, the rape incident is unacceptable and horrible for public relations, but the fact that parents work until 10 pm and allow their children to do absolutely anything they want, might also be a part of the problem. I'm glad I'm not one of those Americans who frequents the restaurants any more. Or that I have to hear inane conversations about this stuff from other teachers.

Sometimes I do miss it and I can really get a vivid image of my favorite places in my head... Like strolling around Mihama and walking to the Co-op on the windy road that led me through small little alleys and past gravestones. But then I remember the bureaucracy and the amount of discussion that had to go into absolutely everything and I'm happy to be watching Project Runway back in the US of A.

Thanks for the article, Bridgit! I *do* miss you! And our weekly Night at the 'Bucks.

1 comment:

Amy said...

What exactly is a safety map? Does it show places where you'll be visible if you try to smoke? Places Americans don't go?