Sigonella base addresses children behaving badly
Stars and Stripes May 23, 2004
Naval Air Station Sigonella is holding meetings with parents and students to deal with reports of misbehaving children.
An increased number of people have called the base in Sicily to complain about students, mostly in high school, involved in sexual activity and vandalizing on base and on the buses. Though there weren’t a huge number of calls, there were enough for the base to organize an informational session last month, said Lt. Steve Curry, base spokesman.
The high school nurse and Teen Center physician talked to 50 adults and a few students about the risks of being sexually active.
The base is considering suggestions from the meeting, including establishing a Neighborhood Watch program and having volunteers ride the buses home.
Curry noted that vandalism has decreased since last year. “But we have seen increase of kids loitering around and hanging out after school. ... We need to keep their time occupied more,” he said.
In a recent base newspaper column, the base commander, Capt. Tim Davison, called on parents to be involved with children.
“As parents, it is our responsibility to know what our children are doing and how they are behaving on the base and at school,” the column states.
“The teachers are ... not here to dictate morals, values or behavior modifications on our children.”
The base also has taken steps to curb shoplifting. Curry said there are some cliques in which students have to steal something to join.
Davison recently signed a base order that states that children caught shoplifting on base will lose Navy Exchange privileges for up to six months. Their parents’ privileges could be suspended for up to two weeks.
Curry stressed that the few Sigonella students who are acting up are giving others a bad reputation.
“We got a bunch of great kids,” he said.
“We’re just mainly educating the students and parents on inappropriate behaviors and what corrective measures we can do to help the students out.”
Another meeting for parents and students is at 4:30 p.m. Wednesday in the high school multi-purpose room.