This letter is in reference to the Garrison Keillor piece, “People, especially politicians, are stealing from kids,” which appeared in your Saturday issue.

People such as Keillor who place blame on government for the state of America’s youth are only making the problem worse by not placing blame where it truly belongs. It is not the government that is to blame for “kids doped up on sugar and coke, sleepy kids,…African American kids who think scholarship is white bread.” It is the parents of these children who refuse to take responsibility for the lives that they brought into this world.

The last time I checked, the Constitution does not mandate that the government take care of or responsibility for the children of this country. That responsibility lies squarely on the shoulders of parents who are consistently turning their own responsibility over to the government. So who’s to blame? The parents who refuse to take responsibility for their own children. Does Junior not care about going to school? It’s not the fault of the government – it is his parents. Is Junior doing poorly in math class? Why are his parents not taking the initiative to get him extra help? Are your neighbor’s kids seemingly possessed by Satan? Where are his parents?

My children are my responsibility and mine alone. If my children are doing poorly in school, it’s my fault. If my children are ill-behaved, it’s my fault. To blame the government for the well-being (or the lack thereof) of my children – or anyone else’s – is absurd and terribly irresponsible.

Studies have consistently shown that parents who take an interest in their children’s schooling – be it in public, private, or home schooling situations – are significantly more successful than those children who’s parents merely turn their children over to someone else for care and education. Why are America’s youth in such a sad state? Because parents are consistently shirking their responsibility and placing their children in the hands of government welfare programs, government health care, and government schools. Regardless of government failures or successes, ultimate responsibility lies with the parents, and that is with whom Keillor should be upset.

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