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To be fuming about this!

(70 Posts)
LyndaW Thu 14-Sep-17 08:54:22

Yesterday afternoon I was walking our dog when I saw a group of teenage girls throw rubbish on the ground. I tapped one of the girls on the shoulder and said that she shouldn't litter. They all looked at me like I was dirt and started jeering. One of them asked what I was going to do about it so I said if you're not going to pick it up yourself I'll do it but you should be ashamed. And you should also be aware it's illegal and you could get fined. They continued to make fun of me and of course I ended up having to pick up the rubbish and threw it away when I got home. Couldn't sleep last night I was stewing over it so.

annsixty Thu 14-Sep-17 09:06:55

I honestly would have walked by. You are now the only one upset and they are laughing at you.
A couple of weeks ago , the girl who does my hair at home had been to the gym before she came. She told me there were four teen girls in the gym. When she went to use a particular machine one of them said ,oh you can't use that we want it next, my friend went on something else and ,as they still hadn't used the first machine went back to it. The girl said , I told you we want that next.
Now my friend just left!!
I was very cross with her , she should have fetched the manager. She felt intimidated though.
She could have done something, you, in the circumstances, couldn't. I would never confront a group of teens now.
I may have done when younger if other people were about to back me up.

Maggiemaybe Thu 14-Sep-17 09:09:35

No, of course YANBU, Lynda. I am fuming on your behalf. You were very brave to tackle someone in a group. They only reacted that way so as not to lose face in front of their mates, and I hope at least some of them feel ashamed of themselves now. I know it's difficult to let things go, but try not to be upset by it.

NanaandGrampy Thu 14-Sep-17 09:13:42

Not unreasonable at all. Yes, it was a brave thing to do but if we all ignored the difficult stuff then things like littering and not cleaning up after your dog will become even more widespread.

As long as you're not endangering yourself , I say well done and keep it up - we all need to be standing up for what we believe in - even if we are the only person standing smile

Fishpieplease Thu 14-Sep-17 09:17:21

I agree that the girls wouldn't want to lose face,bit you were so right to point it out to them. It's quite possible that 1 or more of them would be a bit more careful in the future. Well done!

LyndaW Thu 14-Sep-17 09:25:00

I hope it did sink in to some of them and they may think twice next time. I didn't expect them to get so horrible to be honest, but I never felt physically threatened. I did have flashbacks to school day meanness though. Although I'm sure we always had respect for our elders. I would never have dreamed of jeering at another grown-up!

NanaandGrampy Thu 14-Sep-17 09:27:17

Those days of respect( or fear) of your elders have long gone Lynda - remember the veritable Park Keeper- you didn't want to get on his wrong side :-)

Luckygirl Thu 14-Sep-17 09:35:58

I tackled a group of teenage schoolboys from the local private school who were jeering at a Big Issue seller. I told them they were very privileged young people and their mothers would be ashamed of them They had the grace to look sheepish and slink away. Sometimes you cannot stay quiet - things need to be said.

You did the right thing, and I know it is hard for you to be left with unrequited anger, but rest assured you were right to act.

TriciaF Thu 14-Sep-17 09:36:42

Well done for speaking up Lynda.
In her first teaching job DD1 caught a teenager throwing rubbish on the floor. She told the girl to pick it up and put in the bin, the girl replied "Do you want me to do my Mum out of her job?" Her Mum was a school cleaner.
I don't know what happened next.

hildajenniJ Thu 14-Sep-17 09:42:40

We're these girls school age, and were they in uniform? If so, I would have found out which school they attend and report them to the head teacher. Things like this often happened outside my DD's flat, when they lived in Glasgow. The teenagers would come and sit on the steps, eat their chips etc., and discard the paper and boxes around the steps and pavement. There was a bin only a couple of yards away. My DD knew their school and reported any incidences of littering to the head teacher. It would stop for a while ( they'd obviously had a lecture) but gradually they would begin again. She knew she was fighting a losing battle, but none the less she kept it up.
Well done you for tackling those girls, you never know, your words might bear fruit.

Bluegal Thu 14-Sep-17 09:47:07

Lynda, I did much the same except my 'group' were small children led by an older child. One of the young boys (around 5) dropped a large galaxy bar wrapper on the pavement. I said "Excuse me, is that what we do with litter". He picked it up and I thanked him and walked on but as they were following one of the other children - a girl possibly around 7 started taking the mickey out of me. I was appalled at the size of them and their sheer audacity.

All I can think is they are never told not to drop litter by their parents although my kids have it drummed into them at school too.

I am not sure I am brave enough to take on teenagers but well done you!

shysal Thu 14-Sep-17 09:48:37

There is a group of young people who live in my road, all aged around 14. They sit on the landscaping surrounding our houses which actually belongs to the homeowners, smoking, eating and drinking. We are constantly moving them on and giving them back their litter, but nothing changes. During the school holidays they even slept in the communal car park. A father was seen to bring a blanket in the early hours! I am thinking of taking a picnic to the front lawn of one of their own houses and leaving litter, but not quite brave enough. The parents are aware but seem to do nothing. I would never have let my girls behave in that way, they would have been dragged home and grounded. Instead the neighbouring young people used to hang out in our sun room. I used to love hearing the good-natured banter and listening to them playing their version of Blockbusters (Can I have a P Bob?).

I never wanted to become a moaning oldie, but it has happened!

annodomini Thu 14-Sep-17 10:00:57

Police Community Support Officers have been responsible for mitigating the level of child and teenage nuisance in our community. If you have such officers in your town, it would be worthwhile asking them to make their presence felt in the places and times of day when these youngsters are around.

mcem Thu 14-Sep-17 10:01:43

Recently a young lad, part of a group, discarded a food bag. I picked it up, approached him and very politely said,
"Excuse me, I think you dropped this."
He took it from me, his jaw dropped and he deposited in a nearby bin!

devongirl Thu 14-Sep-17 10:05:38

shysal if they are making use of privately owned land, maybe you could ask for a uniformed policeman to come and have a word with them?

shysal Thu 14-Sep-17 10:09:16

In my case the local PCSO has been very unhelpful, probably sees us as old biddies making a fuss. Neighbours have phoned him, but I have never seen him. The village used to have a policy of moving on youngsters or taking them home after a certain time in the evening, but I haven't seen the posters for several years.

damewithaname Thu 14-Sep-17 10:29:16

One day those girls will be you. But for today, thanks for picking up their litter. You are by far the better person. We need more people like you!!

sunseeker Thu 14-Sep-17 10:34:08

It seems that many youngsters are not taught even basic manners these days. I was in the supermarket yesterday and a small child (around 6) was charging around with a trolley deliberately smashing into displays. The couple with him (looked like grandparents) just let him do it and smiled indulgently. I had moved on round the supermarket when I felt a trolley bang into the back of me and a child yelling "get out of the way". I turned around and yes it was this little monster. Grandad was just standing there. I spoke to the child and told him he was being very rude. He just shouted to me to get of the way. I held my trolley so he couldn't get by and told him he had hurt me and that he should apologise, only then did Grandad look at me and HE said sorry. I said I wanted the child to apologise. Once the little monster realised he wasn't getting by, he very grudgingly said sorry but later I could hear him screaming at other people.

razzmatazz Thu 14-Sep-17 10:39:25

I have, in the past, picked up the litter and said to the offenders( very sweetly) " Is this yours? I think you dropped it by mistake "

Bring back the Park Keeper !

Kerenhappuch Thu 14-Sep-17 10:40:04

No YANBU. Rudeness from strangers in public always makes me fume. Best to try and let it go though. You did what you felt was right, it might not have had an immediate effect but maybe it will make them slightly more aware that they could be challenged again.

People really don't seem aware about litter now, whatever happened to the Keep Britain Tidy campaign? I remember the short public information films they used to put out against litter, but you don't seem to see them any more.

piscarii Thu 14-Sep-17 10:40:37

Could it be that those boys slunk away because there was more discipline at their school, it being private, as opposed to the majority (I say majority because there will be exceptions), of state schools?

00mam00 Thu 14-Sep-17 10:41:32

One day I saw a group of young yobbos dropping litter a few feet from a bin. I was incensed and told them in a fury to pick it up and to my surprise they picked it up and put it in the bin.

I saw a woman allow her dog to foul on a local sports field. When I suggested she pick it up, she told me to mind my own business, I tried to reason with her, but she was very rude and stormed off.

I also accosted a perfectly fit woman parking a big flashy car in a disabled spot at the local supermarket. When I told her off, she said 'oh for goodness sake I'll only be here a few minutes'. I called after her that in those few minutes a disabled person might want to park. She scowled and carried on.

I try not to be so bossy these days, after all there are some dangerous people out there. But when I am roused.......

Tweedle24 Thu 14-Sep-17 10:43:22

I was at a 'fun day' at our local community centre last week helping out on the flower arranging stall. Most of the children and their parents were delightful but, one little boy, about seven or eight, nearly knocked me over to get to the table. He used his elbows and nearly sent another helper (a big man) sprawling by barging into him. I just said 'Excuse me' to me hoping he would react. He just glared at me. The adult with him, I think his father, just shrugged.

SunnySusie Thu 14-Sep-17 10:43:57

I think its brilliant of you LyndaW to tackle the littering girls, but I dont know if I would have the courage. In my youth adults would routinely tell kids to put rubbish in bins, stop riding bikes on the pavements, stop making a noise etc. but of course it was a different era. Our school would crack down hard on any nuisance behaviour reported back to them and would also involve our parents who invariably backed the school up. I am not sure that always happens now. Our village installed some shelters for the younger teenagers to give them somewhere to sit under cover away from peoples houses, but of course because they were provided by 'the authorities' no teenager will use them!

Lilyflower Thu 14-Sep-17 10:44:23

If we all abdicate responsibilty for pointing out the right behaviour to young people they will never learn. Of course, these days they might well have weapons or turn violent so a situation needs careful assessment and judgement, especially as their parents might well back them up and prove worse.

However, LyndaW bravely did the right thing and another time might elicit support from other adults.

My old teaching head of department used to travel the Tube and, if he saw misdemeanours by children, tackled them. His wife feared he would be harmed but he never was and I imagine that some of the children learned something.

As a retired teacher I know that very few children are unreachable and often respond to discipline after a bit of back cheek. Remain firm. Call the police if the situation escalates.