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Several weeks back, a very sad thing happened at Braswell High School, reflecting several things I think are a microcosm of our society today. The author of an essay published Oct. 17, titled “At Denton ISD, Nobody is a real person,” implied that the whole episode was the fault of the school system in general and that the blame should be laid at the feet of the staff and administrators.

The question asked by the author is “Is someone going to take responsibility?” He predicted that no one would. Where indeed does the responsibility lie? Teachers? The school district? Society?

Teachers have a very thankless, difficult job to do. In my family, there are five teachers, three of whom are teachers in the Denton ISD. One is a math teacher at Denton High School, and I assure you she has a heart for her students and desires that they do well. Her biggest distraction is parents who do not take an active part in the children’s education. More on that later.

Two granddaughters are teachers, one of whom was a kindergarten teacher for 10 years and is now a reading recovery teacher. The second is a fifth-grade teacher who takes her time to teach and reinforce the small things like manners and relationships with other people. It is really sad that teachers have to teach things that should be taught at home.

Where do we get the idea that it is the responsibility of the school district to raise our kids? Parents send their children to school, demanding that the district make decent human beings out of them — but don’t you touch them or correct them.

So who is doing that? When I was in school (here we go walking three miles to school, uphill both ways), I had the board of education applied to the seat of learning, which taught me that I should behave myself to avoid the pain. I don’t think that warped me in any way.

So where does the fault really lie? In my opinion, the fault lies basically in two places. Society as a whole. We have taken the concept of God and prayer out of our classrooms. Nowhere in the Constitution is there a statement of separation of church and state. We have freedom of religion, and the limitation is on the government in that a state-mandated religion cannot be foisted on the people. How can a student praying or having Bible study be construed as the state foisting religion on someone else?

The second is the breakdown of the family unit. Statistics show that 4 in 10 children are born to unwed mothers, two-thirds of whom are born to mothers under the age of 30. One in four children under that age of 18, about 16.4 million, are being raised without a father. In 2016, 32% of single-parent families were living in poverty versus 7% of two-parent families.

So where does the fault lie? You’re looking at us!

LEALAND DEAN is a resident of Denton and is the current community member of the Denton Record-Chronicle’s Editorial Board.

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