A community that wants to see young children grow up to be respectful, responsible adults would be horrified by the recent behavior of a bunch of local beachgoers – from teens to young adults – who either participated in a physical assault, cheered it on or used cuss words during the incident at Matapang Beach. This hostility was directed at a woman who was at the beach by herself.
It started with the group confronting the woman, who had been lounging on the sand. While recording her, they asked why she had uttered disparaging words, which the group felt were directed at them.
The woman retorted that she doesn't know these people, implying she wouldn't have a reason to bother commenting about or toward them.
What followed were more verbal tussles. Eventually, the woman packed up and headed to the parking lot, but not without leaving the group with her own dose of verbal threats and cussing, and saying she'd sue for harassment.
The woman then made the mistake of going back, after she had walked to the parking lot and safely away from the group, and using her phone to show the group she continued recording them, too – essentially provoking them.
All of a sudden, at least two in the group of youths began to physically assault the lone beachgoer. As this assault occurred, others in the group cheered or heckled. There were adults in the group of beachgoers, as well as elementary school-aged kids.
Whoever these teens and young adults are, they must have parents or guardians, or aunties and uncles who care about them enough to say what they did was wrong – no matter how much they may have felt offended. They must have teachers and school administrators who recognize who they are. Hopefully, these adults will counsel them.
And the police should tell the public of the outcome of their investigation on the physical assault.
'Welcome to Guam'
One member of the group of beachgoers responsible for the physical attack on the woman even commented, on video, sarcastically: "Welcome to Guam."
This is not the way we treat people – whether they look like tourists from the states or tourists from Korea, China or Japan.
When our young kids and youth find themselves in a tense, confrontational situation, we hope to arm them with the courage to walk away. It's cowardly to behave like a pack of bullies the way this group did.
We as a community should signal this is not OK.