John McCroskey: College students throw tantrums as some call for ludicrous loan forgiveness


Watching the past few weeks on college campuses has really been inspiring. 

Seeing so many young adults acting like tantrum-throwing children just makes you proud, doesn’t it? And our president, bless his generous heart with other people's money, is canceling — rather, transferring — student debt from many of these “young adults” to folks just like me.

I watch enough news to be informed, and agitated, which doesn’t take long these days. But I’ve seen enough of this foolishness to further suggest college is overrated. If this is what passes for getting an education and college leadership these days (really, too frequently an oxymoron it seems to me), then we’re in a lot of trouble.

I was taught that freedom comes with responsibility. One of the responsible things missing in this student-vote buying scheme is who signed the contract for the loans in the first place. Who thought it was a good idea to get a degree that would not provide an income to pay the loan back? Let alone get a job?

So once you get outside the professions that should have degrees — such as doctors, engineers and others like that — it seems to me it's more of an experience than an education. Lawyers used to be a profession but If I’m not mistaken, we recently stopped requiring graduates to pass the bar exam because I guess too many were failing it, which in my mind reaffirms the poor quality of education prospective lawyers are getting some places.

There are of course exceptions to this campus craziness, and I believe many more students paying for their education have rights too and should be protected from rioters. Sadly, their rights rarely make the news.

One of my sons who graduated from Western Washington University remarked about what he learned in his college days. College is a business and makes money. After he graduated, I received requests for the honor of donating even more money to them. Many of these schools have millions in the bank while demanding even more from us, and getting it too.

In 1972, when I graduated from high school, I received a small scholarship but still couldn’t afford school. So I joined the military and, after serving my time, used the GI Bill to eventually graduate from Centralia College. I believe that is an option still today, but obligating yourself to large debt and expecting someone else to pay for it is morally corrupt thinking. So is getting a useless degree that has little chance of making a person more employable. It might be fun. It might be easy. Colleges enjoy it. Just pay for it yourself.

These protesters, rioters really, have every right to peacefully protest. But that’s not what we're seeing. Instead, there is damage, trash, violence, trespassing and tantrums on full display while wearing masks; it's really not a good look.

And there are others whose rights are being trampled. Classes and graduations are being canceled, and threats and intimidation are rampant. Some of the demands these knuckleheads are making are ludicrous; feed us, give us water (like they are somehow trapped) and others unrelated to Israel. Sadly, in too many cases, the schools are appeasing these same knuckleheads, which will only make it worse.

So here we are watching young people who have no idea in many cases what they are protesting, throwing temper tantrums, making childish demands and asking for amnesty, too.  Seems like they know what they are doing is wrong or amnesty wouldn’t even be necessary.

Some day in the future, a potential employer with minimal effort will be able to see what a prospect was doing in their college days because they posted it proudly on social media. And the prospective employer may object to immature obnoxious behavior exhibited and simply pass on hiring them.

But not to worry. If these rioters have learned anything in their privileged lives, it's their actions have had little or no consequences so far in life. And one day soon, our government will protect this kind of behavior. Because that's what they do.


John McCroskey was Lewis County sheriff from 1995 to 2005. He lives outside Chehalis and can be contacted at