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Carole Meekins: Positively Milwaukee

5/10/07 "What's Going On?"

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As a former teacher I am horrified at the stories we have been reporting recently. A rash of violent episodes inside classrooms. What is going on? Where is the breakdown? Why are so many young people..and in some cases, their parents misbehaving. I blame many of the problems on the breakdown of the family. This societal flaw is harming more people than war. As a nation, we must do a better job of taking care of our kids. Young people need to feel loved, nurtured, cared for, respected. If they do not get it, they will reach for support in negative ways. Research has found that a vast majority of those in prison are born from teenage mothers. One study in California found that 90 percent of prison inmates between 15 and 19 years old were products of an adolescent pregnancy. How sad! A child cannot raise a child. A child cannot provide a home, the support, the love...the nurturing. Yes, there are success stories. And there are those who have overcome insurmountable odds. We hear a lot about the statistics of teenage pregnancies. Numbers are often reported in newspapers or television news. But to me, these statistics breathe, bleed, and cry. And just like people they cannot be ignored.

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