Sunday, January 24, 2010

Famous Role Models

25 January 2010

It was reported in the news today, (via the following link
that Aussie Actor Todd Lasance; Home and Away star appeared in court for possession of cocaine. The magistrate handed down a 12 month good behaviour bond and did not record a conviction.

This actor; who is loved and adored by millions of teenagers gets absolutely no consequences for his actions, except a 12 month good behaviour bond. Lasance gets to move on with his life as if his brush with the law never happened. There will be no disruption to his life, career and personal plans for the future. All he needs do is be a good boy for 12 months. Lasance's lawyer pleaded that no conviction be recorded so that Lasance could travel to the United States and obtain work there. A criminal conviction would have probably resulted in Lasance not being approved for a work visa.

Too bad, so sad. This young actor who is a role model to millions of impressionable teenagers needs to grow up. Young people everywhere love and look up to this young man, and how Lasance behaves in public and his private life undoubtedly will affect decisions his young fans make. Young people everywhere could decide that it is okay to use cocaine? Young people may not be afraid of what their punishment might be if they are caught. Some fans may even think taking drugs is cool, because Todd Lasance had cocaine in his possession and seemingly did not get into a lot of trouble.

It is such a shame that our young people are set such bad examples. It is no wonder they go out and run amok; drink underage, take drugs, have casual sex and commit crimes. The examples that are being set by role models; such as Lasance are poor. In July 2006, The Age newspaper reported that Rugby league star Wendell Sailor tested positive for cocaine. This resulted in a ban for two years from playing professional rugby league. This example shows there were serious consequences for this star's actions. Wendell Sailor suffered the temporary loss of a career that he loved for his actions, and his fans would have been sent a completely different message. What if any consequence will Todd Lasance suffer? None; it would seem. He is probably very embarassed and ashamed of his actions and he is most likely extremely sorry and regrets his actions, however the message being sent to his fans is that drugs are cool and if you are caught with drugs you might very well get away with it.

There are parents in society that are fighting a losing battle trying to teach their kids that drugs are bad and should not be messed with. Many parents may feel that Todd Lasance's actions have just undone all their hard work. Parents and guardians all over Australia would be fuming with anger at this decision. Kids as young as nine or even younger watch Home and Away religiously and it's quite possible that these young people are extremely confused.

Todd Lasance's career should be on hold; he should receive consequences for his mistake. How does a person learn from their mistakes if there are no consequences? Perhaps Lasance is so embarrased and ashamed of his actions that he never does anything like this again. It is possible that he was terrified of what might happen in court today, and has vowed he will never be so silly as to get involved with drugs again. We can all live in hope.

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Janelle Coulton, Copyright 2010

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