Piers Morgan is right. Mizzy really is a moron. For those of you unfamiliar with the story, Mizzy is an 18-year-old TikToker who attracts followers by filming himself engaged in criminal activity. He terrifies families by invading their homes, steals the dogs of elderly women, physically assaults unsuspecting commuters, and threateningly asks random people if they’d like to die.
He’s a thug, and, after failing a community protection notice, has received a two-year criminal behaviour order and fine of £365. These were not ‘pranks’ – as some, including the perpetrator, would have us believe. They were heinous and depraved acts of criminality.
And that’s what brings me to his punishment. If you can call it that. By his own admission, ‘Our laws are weak.’ It was indeed a shockingly lenient sanction for numerous infractions that caused considerable distress to his victims.
No wonder he comes across as so smug and arrogant. During an interview conducted by Piers Morgan on Talk TV on 24th May, he smiled as he contemplated the consequences of his crimes, and, in response to Morgan’s characteristically vociferous questioning, did a weird impression of a Grime-loving Lauren Cooper, Catherine Tate’s obstreperous teenage character who immortalized the catchphrase, ‘Am I bovvered?’ He was incredibly infantile.
As a teacher I recognized him immediately. So many youngsters betray the same peculiarities: entitled, self-satisfied and utterly irresponsible.
But why? Why are these peculiarities so commonplace among our young people? Well, there are several reasons, bad parenting being the most notable. Either through fear or convenience, parents no longer discipline their children. Once more, if a teacher attempts to, the parents often complain, presumably in a bid to appease their volatile young charges and maintain a quiet life at home.
Earlier this month, I had a furious encounter with what can only be described as a deranged parent. My crime: issuing her daughter with a 30-minute detention for forgetting her exercise book. On the more extreme end, a parent physically assaulted my colleague, attempting to strangle him for disciplining his daughter. She had slapped a book out of his hand during classroom changeover. Anxious and stressed, my colleague left the school soon after, and several weeks later, his attacker’s daughter viciously assaulted another pupil, leaving her victim needing hospital treatment and counselling. Feckless parents have an awful lot to answer for.
Parents also have to take responsibility for the devastating effects of divorce on their children. Nearly half of all marriages end in failure. That’s a huge number of broken homes and broken children. And it often leads to poor behaviour. Fecklessness begets fecklessness. When will we wake up to this reality and encourage prospective parents to take their oaths more seriously?
Furthermore, adults have surrendered their authority to children. For example, recalcitrant pupils are not effectively disciplined because, contrary to the Christian doctrine of Original Sin, children are now seen as pure, infallible and morally unimpeachable, and adults iniquitous and corrupting influences. Consequently, a child’s misbehaviour must be the fault of the adult or teacher. In addition, if a child should make a statement concerning an incident, and the statement contradicts his or her teacher’s version of events, the child’s claims must take precedence, even if they’re completely bogus.
Another colleague was recently assaulted by a violent pupil – she had a door repeatedly slammed against her back. The poor lady then suffered a panic attack and, shortly after, like the colleague I mentioned earlier, left the school. But the pupils who witnessed the assault refused to support her story, taking the side of her attacker, either through fear or spite. Her attacker said he did it by accident. Who do you think the Headteacher believed? The thug didn’t even receive a detention.
Mizzy is an axiomatic example of what happens when parents neglect their responsibilities and teachers surrender their authority. And now he’s experiencing the weakness of our criminal justice system. Is it any wonder that he behaves like a moron?
Joe Baron is the pseudonym of a secondary school teacher.