Class distinction

As incivility pervades society, course teaches youths the value of manners

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In the latest Internet "brawl" video, a bikini-clad woman upset with the service at a Florida Burger King jumps on the restaurant counter and proceeds to batter workers and topple whatever she gets her hands on.

Sadly, our barefoot contessa is representative of a growing class of the classless.

In a country in which "aggrieved" customers feel free to assault workers and destroy property, it seems hopelessly quaint to hope for a return to manners and etiquette. But those of us who long for a more civil society can't allow ourselves to give up.

It used to be that the oafish among us were termed "ill-bred" -- a decidedly pejorative term that appealed to shame and traced boorishness back to its fount: the home.

There is no such accountability today, and no shame to speak of, and so it is left to society to deal with.

One way to deal with loutish behavior is to ignore it. Another is to reward it. Occasionally, one is fortunate enough to be in a position to punish it (our bathing beauty with the beastly side is now facing a felony charge).

Yet another way is to nip it in the bud.

This is the mission of Social Inc., a local organization featured in a recent Chronicle story, which since the 1970s has revived the teaching of the social graces to area youth.

Such things, including the annual "spring formal" cotillion at James Brown Arena, may seem anachronistic or "old South" -- but here's hoping good manners and etiquette are never out of fashion.

We can tell the students this much: You may or may not like "taking social," and your peers may sneer -- but you'll sure have a leg up on the competition in the job market. In the dating scene, too.

It can't help but bolster these youths' confidence, either.

How else are kids supposed to learn the intricacies of a civilized, cultured life? By osmosis? Certainly not by throwing them onto Facebook.

Give us the old-time social networking any day.

And for anyone who thinks the dancing part of Social is hokey or unmanly -- try telling that to Jerry Rice and Hines Ward, two National Football League standouts who've hoofed it on Dancing With the Stars.

With all the coarseness and vulgarity out there today, it makes sense to arm our youth for the battle over civility. Organizations such as Social Inc. may be our Alamo.

Comments (15) Add comment
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augusta citizen
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augusta citizen 04/04/11 - 07:08 am
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Amen, Social has been a great

Amen, Social has been a great thing for my teen!

soldout
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soldout 04/04/11 - 09:16 am
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Great organization; they

Great organization; they teach teens to be people while school teaches them they are just an evolved animal (and many act that way). People become who we tell them they are.

onlysane1left
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onlysane1left 04/04/11 - 09:37 am
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Young people are only

Young people are only mimicking what they see around them. Yes, it is nice that these organization are trying to bring about civility, but, unless civility is the accepted norm by most, this is just a small drop compared to the ocean of indecency.

lovingthesouth72
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lovingthesouth72 04/04/11 - 10:14 am
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In a culture where the young

In a culture where the young get their cues from mtv and other media, this is a breath of fresh air. It is necessary for young men and young women to learn how to treat each other respectufully and still know how to have fun. I am so greatful for what Social Inc has taught my son.

lovingthesouth72
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lovingthesouth72 04/04/11 - 10:17 am
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PS: all women love a man that

PS: all women love a man that can dance, and knows how to be a gentlemen, can actually offer to open a door for you even when you can!

Dixieman
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Dixieman 04/04/11 - 10:53 am
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One of many reasons to love

One of many reasons to love the South: Children here say ma'am and sir and please and thank you.

Jane18
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Jane18 04/04/11 - 11:31 am
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Reading your comment

Reading your comment rmwhitley made me remember something I read the other day. "Silence in face of evil, is itself evil. GOD will not hold us guiltless. Not to speak, is to speak. Not to act, is to act." I am very sorry to hear about the Chattanooga police officer.

faithson
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faithson 04/04/11 - 11:42 am
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This editorial shows the

This editorial shows the narrow mindset of the AC editorial board. Social is an activity attended by white upper middle class children. Yes they do a service to the children who attend. Sure you have your token lower class, black attendee but it is not the norm. To suggest that 'this' program is meant for our young local people is beyond the pale and from my point of view suggests some collusion between Social, Inc. and the editorial board. This private activity is available at a fee for services that many cannot afford. Of course if you and your child want the 'cotillion' experience go for it. Personally I attended a prep school where Emily Post was taught. We took dancing classes. Social behavior should be taught at home and in school. I and my wife made the decision our 6 children could forgo the 'Augusta Social' experience. Our children are just fine and well adjusted. Of course their Parents did instill the necessary social edicate expected of a responsible citizen.

DowntownJaguar
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DowntownJaguar 04/04/11 - 12:07 pm
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I agree with faithson.

I agree with faithson.

Riverman1
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Riverman1 04/04/11 - 01:06 pm
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"Of course their Parents did

"Of course their Parents did instill the necessary social edicate expected of a responsible citizen."

Those parents teaching "edicate" are not using proper etiquette. I feel like I'm watching Larry the Cable Guy having dinner with the Emily Post family.

But I saw Shaquille O'neal doing his Christmas shopping for his many kids with Dwyane Wade. Shaq picked up some soccer balls and D-Wade said:

"There ain't no soccer in the hood."

Know what I mean?

faithson
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faithson 04/04/11 - 03:06 pm
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I knew there was something

I knew there was something wrong with that spelling.. thanks Rviermna!

bettyboop
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bettyboop 04/04/11 - 05:35 pm
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You just can't ingrain class

You just can't ingrain class into the classless.......animals breed animals...period.

rmwhitley
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rmwhitley 04/04/11 - 06:28 pm
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A people that values
Unpublished

A people that values privileges above principles will soon lose both: anon. John Wayne said; "Life's tough it's even tougher if you're stupid".

WW1949
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WW1949 04/04/11 - 11:04 pm
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faithson, Social, Inc. is

faithson, Social, Inc. is open to anyone who wants to attend wheather they are black or white. Just as in the white population, some can and some cannot attend. Not everybody will have the same things in life and thank goodness you are teaching your children morals and etiquett. It goes without saying that all children that have the mentioned qualities will be in a different class than those that do not. They will stand out from what people say is the norm now and will be at a better advantage in all job markets and in all dateing because people that think and act alike want to be with those like them. Social will teach them that there are better things in life and will hopefully make them want them. When I went to Langford Jr. High we took social over by Lake Olmstead from Mrs. Price and I enjoyed every minute of it and we had the spring dance at the Bell. What a time it was and all the things I learned are still with me today.

faithson
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faithson 04/04/11 - 11:47 pm
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'49, you make a good point.

'49, you make a good point. I only suggest that this type of education should be part of a school curriculum that is supported in the home. Pretty high minded in these times for sure.

commonsense09
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commonsense09 04/05/11 - 09:48 am
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The AC could help by removing

The AC could help by removing many of the tasteless comments people make on their site.

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