When young children try to touch a hot stove, parents swat their hands, and they learn not to touch the stove. When older children lie to their parents about getting homework done or doing something they were forbidden to do, parents take privileges away, and the children learn not to continue that behavior.
In both instances, the child understands the consequence of his or her action and learns to avoid the behavior that brought the consequences.
What is happening in the schools (“Schools try to redirect delinquent students,” Jan. 14) is that certain students are not learning to avoid the behaviors that bring consequences.
It is not a black-or-white, boy-or-girl thing. It is not the fault of the school system.
If you really examine the data that is being collected, they would lead you back to a very small percentage of students who are continually making bad choices. The students don’t seem to understand that for every action there is a reaction.
School systems are trying all sorts of ways to alleviate this problem by using mentors, counselors, psychologists, social workers, teachers and administrators to work with these troubled children.
Other programs to keep these students in an academic situation, such as Saturn, are also being used.
These children need to learn to follow the rules in an academic situation, which then translates to following rules in society. If they continue to break the rules when they are adults, they will end up in prison.
Michael Thompson, summarizing his reaction to the Texas study noted in the article, concluded that if school systems did a better job of keeping students in the classroom and off the streets, they would be less likely to get in trouble with the law.
He put all the blame on the school system; he is totally wrong.
It’s time to stop blaming school systems for the poor decisions that children make. When we finally go back to the days when teachers and schools were respected, and rules and consequences were enforced without anyone crying foul, I will bet we have less crime in and out of school.
Connie M. Kubilus
Fathers, sons and Scouting
I want to give my thoughts on the Boy Scouts of America controversy (“Boy Scouts delay decision on policy excluding gays,” Feb. 7).
I believe there are many organizations that work to build boys into good men who know the difference between right and wrong, have a code of conduct and character that holds the line, and engage in conversation that builds up and not destroys.
This program was designed to develop the best in young men.
There will always be controversy about changing norms and different points of view.
I began my Scouting experience as a young man at Troop 81 and later served as chaplain and interim Scout Master at Troop 74.
I have dealt with problems that come up in a troop of 85 to 100 boys. I have learned over time that the success and salvation of Boy Scouting is the involvement of fathers and qualified men.
All the fears and doubts everyone has are defused when men take responsibility for and participate with their sons. If enough fathers would make time and invest in their sons, all the fears of bad things happening would disappear as dads learned along with their sons the meaning of the Boys Scout Oath and Law.
Investing in your son is the best time many can spend. Boy Scouts will thrive if dads will participate.
Henry “Hank” Richard
I, too, remember the mental hospitals that used to be available for the care of the mentally incompetent (“Forgotten closings,” Feb 5).
The only places they can go nowadays are jails, and that’s not the place they should be.
In the 1980s, all the hospitals and facilities for mentally ill persons were closed. At that time, the people were turned out, many with nowhere to go, and became street people.
That’s where the street people came from.