Throwing money at a problem is not the answer

Published 12:00 am Thursday, July 14, 2005

Editor, the News-Herald:

Reading in the newspapers and hearing the news that our governor has located a large sum of funds to be passed on to schools, I want to say it is wonderful to locate money, when we have been told so many times that more funds were not available.

For the teachers and other personnel, this is great news.  For us older taxpayers, I am not so sure that our monies are being spent in such a way as to train many of our youngsters to become more responsible, have integrity, morals, etc.

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As I have stated many times, a big school building will not teach a youngster. My main concern is for the youngsters of dysfunctional homes. I believe you can teach these children the very best there is to offer, but when they go home to their families' problems, they revert back to dysfunctional behavior.

My prayer is that some legislators, ministers, civic leaders, city managers, and interested citizens will have a meeting of the minds and come up with a more viable solution.  I have repeatedly suggested boarding type schools, where these dysfunctional youngsters can live, learn, and see that they do not have to live the type of lives they have been seeing in their homes, their dysfunctional communities, etc.

I have also repeatedly suggested that the social services (welfare assistance) be paid to a boarding school to take care of these youngsters, in  lieu of sending a voucher, check, or whatever method is being used to give assistance to some families.  The parents of children quite often could find gainful employment if they would try. So many one-parent families are working diligently to earn a living.  It is difficult to raise a family on minimum wages. I know, because I have already experienced hard work and it paid off for me. 

I could not have paid my house payments, my medical bills, and all my utilities had I not worked more than one job and rented out two bedrooms in my home. But by the grace of God I was able to pay off my house bills and keep my home. Unlike many widowed persons, I had an objective, and that was to be a survivor and continue to live in the same home which my late husband and I had built in 1968.

I just wish that there were some magic way to instill responsibility, integrity, good morals, "treat others the way we would like to be treated,"  but I do not believe throwing good money after bad money in the form of building more schools, and giving pay raises is the complete answer.

My friends, I believe we must start with the newborns, and when they become the age to enter school, certain characteristics will already have been instilled in these

children. We must start when a child is born to teach them good things.  Stop the screaming, hollering, and abusing these little ones.  There are appropriate punishments that have been proven in my life.  It can happen to you and your children also.

Grace Atkins