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How Not to Behave During a Child's Concert

What was that blue glow during my kid's fifth grade winter band concert? It was the telltale light of a collective failure of manners. During the winter concert, held last week, more fellow parents that I could adequately count were perusing their iPhones and, even worse, iPads, which emit an even wider, bright glow.

I’m not deluded. These concerts are hardly succinct. In fact, outside of the moments when my own children are on stage, successfully channeling Yo-Yo Ma, these concerts can be downright interminable, with all the charm of a severed limb.

But even I don’t break out my iPad.

At least I wasn’t the only one who was bent out of shape.

The response from some quarters was swift, with a Facebook post from a local parent starting with the salutation `Hey Mr. and Mrs. (Explicative-Hole),’ which then went on to question how she could tell her 7 year-old to sit still and watch his older brother’s concert when moms and dads to their left and right were reading email and playing Angry Birds.

Hear, hear.

After all, this wasn’t a slight case of the throat clears or even a case of mass candy unwrap. This was evidence of an inoperative sense of community decorum, inglorious and ignoble behavior coming not from knee-high video game addicts, but mom and dad, transformed in front of our eyes into cads and louts.

The school has never stipulated a policy about tablet usage during concerts, though occasionally a music teacher will almost apologetically issue a “please turn off your phones” reminder at the start.

We probably don’t need a set policy here. It’s just time for everyone to regain their senses. Either that, or some kids in the string section should start meting out punishments to unruly parents in the audience.

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