This post expresses the views and opinions of the author(s) and not necessarily that of The Clifton Times management or staff.

Teens are lazy, selfish, and have terrible attitudes. That's the conventional attitude about them, anyway...and let's be honest, there is plenty of circumstantial evidence to support this view. They rarely consider others' needs, they can be loud and boisterous in public spaces, and they don't always seem to care if they inconvenience anyone.

But let me tell you about the teens who make up Clifton High School's Mustang Marching Band.

Last week I volunteered as a chaperone at their first band bash (a party) since before the pandemic shut everything down in early 2020. For approximately half of these kids it was the very first time they'd had the chance to meet socially with the whole band.

The night started with another mom and I greeting everyone as they walked in - checking their names off of a list and collecting their $5 entrance fee. Everyone was masked, well-mannered (so many "thank yous"!), and friendly. A DJ got them dancing and the small army of volunteer parents served pizza and later, ice cream sundaes.

When "We Like to Party" started playing and some of the moms (this author may or may not have participated) started a dancing train, conga line style, not only did these teens NOT laugh us off the floor - they joined in! They were also gracious enough to let us jump on the floor again to join them for "Macarena" and "Wobble."

For four hours these kids ate, danced, took tons of selfies, laughed, and had a great time just being together. And when the lights came on at 10:30 and the parents started the work of cleaning up the space, those kids jumped in to help. Those "lazy," "self-centered" kids cleared away garbage, folded and stacked chairs, and rolled heavy wood tables to the back of the room.

I'm not saying that these kids aren't sometimes selfish and obnoxious; I have one and I know that he has his less-than-divine moments. And I know that it isn't only the marching band that has such phenomenal teens...but I'm a marching band mom and these are the ones I get to see up close. These are the teens I can confidently say bring honor to Clifton High School and to our city.

Photo credit: Romel Evangelista

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