I'm going to sound like an old man telling kids to stay off my lawn with this story, and that's OK because this needs to be said: Dierkes Lake is no longer family friendly. I can deal with all the goose poop and questionable water, but the poopy questionable language used by teens is becoming too much.

What's The Issue With Dierkes Lake That Makes It Not Family Friendly?

The last few times I've visited Dierkes Lake I've noticed this issue, but yesterday it was especially bad and actually made me feel uncomfortable. The foul language being used is beyond ridiculous. Walking through the park, if it were a movie, would get an instant R rating solely based on conversations you hear. The number of F-bombs I heard would make a sailor blush. The number of times I heard young men call young girls the B-word like it was a joke was embarrassing. And the pasty white boy yelling the N-word constantly at his friends was extremely inappropriate.

I get that these are only words and don't actually hurt anyone, at least physically. But the careless use of these words shows a clear lack of respect and understanding. It also shows a lack of teaching what is acceptable and what is crass. Kids swear, that's not something new. But kids used to try to hide it in public because they knew it was wrong. Now, they don't care.

How Do We Make Dierkes Lake A More Family Friendly Place?

This is only going to be a rant to get this off my chest since I don't have a solution to the problem. I can't make these kids care that their language is offensive. I can't make the park security enforce a code of conduct at the lake. I can't make parents care what their kids are saying and doing. And I can't hole myself up in my house and avoid all public places because bad words abound.

I can only hope that some magical event happens to help these youth realize that they can be cool and have fun without derogatory language being their only form of communication.

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Now, stay off my lawn.

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Perrin Coulee Falls