After a video of 18-year-old Penelope Soto went viral on the internet showing her disrespecting a judge, Fox News host Bill O'Reilly decided to blame the entire public school system for her actions and the actions of other disrespectful Americans.
Penelope Soto was arrested last Friday in Miami for possession of narcotics and was brought in front of a judge to face her charges. After the judge gave her a $5,000 penalty, Soto talked back to the judge and even flipped him her middle finger. The Judge increased the penalty to $10,000 and then gave her 30 days in jail. While Soto's actions are disrespectful, the blame should be placed on herself. During an episode of "The O'Reilly Factor" on Fox News, O'Reilly placed the blame on the American public education system for Soto's outburst, claiming that there is an "epidemic of disrespect in America."
"The reason there is an epidemic of disrespect in America is mainly because of the public school system, here in New York City, the nation's largest public school operation, educators have softened the discipline code. Now students can curse at their teachers and simply get a reprimand. No suspension, just a little scolding."
O'Reilly continued his rant, citing his time as a former teacher for why he decided to send his children to a private Catholic school.
"As a former teacher, I know that if a system allows students to curse out teachers in front of other students all discipline breaks down. By the way, that is one of the reasons I sent my kids to Catholic school."
There is no doubt that the public education system has many flaws, mainly because of massive budget cuts implemented by primarily Republican lawmakers who would rather promote private education over public schools. Penelope Soto and others like her are disrespectful, but for a news organization that often touts "personal responsibility," they seem to have forgotten about it this time around.