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To the editor:
Upon reading Katie McGee’ s recent “Superintendent’s Corner” (Beacon 10/25), I applaud her efforts to acknowledge the untiring efforts of the teachers in our schools.
Her premise is to enlist a letter writing campaign to the president of the United States articulating the necessity to promote schools and educators and to recognize their outstanding work.
Essentially I agree, but there are several tangential issues that need to be addressed. One of these is her assertion “public schools are assuming a greater role in addressing issues that were once anchored in our homes or churches.” Right here, McGee hit the nail on the head because lack of discipline and respect for authority are essentially at the heart of the problem.
The root cause to a major extent is the disintegration of the family and our understanding of the institution of marriage. Moreover, it is equally distressing certain aspects of parenting are now perceived as a function of the school system.
Heretofore, it was the function of parents and other elders to prescribe the norm for a child’s ethical foundation. It is difficult to achieve a societal consensus that does not exist in a nation that frequently appears to have lost its intellectual bearings.
Children have to learn respect and discipline from the cradle onward. When there is respect in the home, there will be respect in the schools and subsequently in the streets and city hall.
School systems cannot function with disruptive behavior legally couched under the guise of a right to dissent.
Another issue is the demographics and impact in locales in the nation’s school system where teacher shortages are increasing at an alarming rate. USA Today reported to meet this shortfall, a growing number of school districts are hiring teachers from foreign countries to fill existing vacancies.
Initiatives such as these are obviously not the answer. The exponential increase in births out of wedlock only compounds the problem for most school systems.
An increase in salaries and school amenities will not solve the teaching dilemma. Only a reinforcement of those basic ideals, normally the inherent bedrock of a family-oriented society, will allow a regulated school system to prevail.
Eminent historian and philosopher, Will Durant, observed, “If you get rid of the state, the family can maintain order, but if you get rid of the family, you have nothing.”
Schools are not the problem, but what goes on in a child’s life before he gets to school.
McGee, I appreciate the efforts of you and your colleagues, but I am afraid letters to the president will not produce significant results or solutions to the problems at hand.
Francis W. Niland