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Dr. Ada Fisher: Afraid of and for our children

The recent shoot-up at another school raises the specter of children in rage and out of control. When 17 people are killed at the hands of a deranged student, it defines our children when it’s a bit late.

Warning signs are everywhere that point to interventions that are needed for which there are neither funds nor cures nor likely interest.

Look no further than the bus ride to school. Students are beating on each other and attacking drivers verbally and physically. Where are our reinforcements? All buses should have video monitors to document kids who are out of control. Some would like another adult to ride along on the bus, but where’s the money coming from? Such would allow effective disciplinary policy development.

But back it up. The problems stem in large measure from lack of parental support of the school system and students. Check out the PTA/PTO meetings; the parents of the kids causing the disruptions aren’t usually the ones in attendance. The move to mainstreaming has also mixed kids who need special assistance in with those progressing normally, which can disadvantage both.

I support school choice, which unfortunately only covers about 20 percent of eligible students? What about the other 80 percent?

Education is a requirement of society, but the move to make it mandatory to age 18 should be rethought. If students don’t want to be in school, why are we forcing them to stay past age 16, with many being disruptive to others?

One way to resolve discipline problems is to quit making schools baby sitters and require student engagement, or let the parents take students home, encourage them to make a choice of a private venue or encourage churches to absorb their flock in raising their children in the way they should go.

County military schools would be interesting, screening out those prone to violence or obsessed with guns. County boarding schools to deal with the homeless might be feasible, given changing population dynamics.

Options for non-college, well-paid employability should include trades such as appliance repair, carpenters or mechanics.

Caregivers and service workers aren’t highly skilled but will be abundant, though not well compensated.

When serving on the Rowan-Salisbury Board of Education, I was appalled by the numbers of children taking drugs such as Ritalin or other stimulants without proof that such diagnosis had been medically made.

Approximately 10 percent of our primary grade students were on some type of medicine, many of which were controlled drugs with inadequate numbers of nurses for their administration. The number of school psychologists was often less than desired.

Everyone wants to make society’s problems a medical issue, some of which mental health covers. In reality, most mental illness is not curable but designed to make people more socially or societally adaptable. An inescapable likelihood is that mental illness has a genetic basis more powerful than environmental interactions.

My father used to say the most important decision you will make is with whom you plan to have children, for that shows up in the people we produce.

Children are not a right, but a major responsibility which too many neglect, expecting society to clean up their messes or pick up their burdens when the going gets tough.

Dr. Ada M. Fisher of Salisbury, author of “Common Sense Conservative Prescriptions: Good for What Ails Us,” is the N.C. Republican National Committeewoman. Contact through DrAdaMFisher.org.

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