The best way I can think of to summarize the decay of American society is to consider the results of a public school survey that was conducted in the mid-1940's and again in the mid-1980's. The survey was taken by the Fullerton, California Police Department in conjunction with the California Department of Education. The purpose was to determine the major disciplinary problems in the schools. The comparative results speak volumes (see the comparative chart below).3
|Leading Public School Disciplinary Problems|
|1) Talking||1) Drug abuse|
|2) Chewing Gum||2) Alcohol abuse|
|3) Making noise||3) Pregnancy|
|4) Running in the hallways||4) Suicide|
|5) Getting out of place in line||5) Rape|
|6) Wearing improper clothing||6) Robbery|
|7) Not putting paper in wastebaskets||7) Assault|
In January 1993, Time magazine reported some sobering statistics from the National Education Association that affirm the deterioration of our schools. According to the NEA report, every school day:4
- 100,000 students tote guns to school
- 160,000 skip classes because they fear physical harm
- 40 are hurt or killed by firearms
- 6,250 teachers are threatened with bodily injury
- 260 teachers are actually assaulted
That's every day!
An insightful commentary about what has happened to the children of America was posted on the Internet recently:5
"What a Concept!"
Whoa! What in the world is happening with our kids today? Let's see... I think it started when Madalyn Murray O'Hare complained that she didn't want any prayer in our schools, and we said, "OK."
Then someone said you had better not read the Bible in school. After all, it says: "Thou shalt not kill, thou shalt not steal, and love your neighbor as yourself." And we said, "OK."
Then the Supreme Court said that we could no longer post the Ten Commandments in our classrooms because they might influence our children, in violation of the concept called "separation of church and state." And we said, "OK."
Remember Dr. Benjamin Spock, who said we shouldn't spank our children when they misbehave, because their little personalities would be warped and we might damage their self-esteem? And we said, "OK."
Then someone said that teachers and principals better not discipline our children when they misbehave. And our administrators said, "Whoa, no one in this school better touch a student when they misbehave because we don't want any bad publicity, and we surely don't want to be sued."
Then someone said, "Let's let our daughters have abortions if they want, and we won't even tell their parents." And we said, "OK."
Then someone else said, "Let's give our sons all the condoms they want so they can have all the 'fun' they desire, and we won't tell their parents." And we said, "That's another great idea!"
And then some of our top officials said, "It doesn't matter what we do in private as long as we do our jobs." And we said, "As long as I have a job and the economy is good, it doesn't matter to me what anyone does in private."
So now we're asking ourselves why our children have no conscience, why they don't know right from wrong, and why it doesn't bother them to kill.
Probably, if we think about it long and hard enough, we can figure it out. I think it has a great deal to do with "we reap what we sow."
Whoa! What a concept!
In the next segment of this series on the decay of society, we'll look at how the Ten Commandments have been removed and be shocked at what they've been replaced with.
3) Ezra Brown, "Getting Tough: New Jersey Principal Joe Clark kicks up a storm about discipline in city schools," Time, February 1, 1988, p. 54.
4) "The Week, January 10-16, 1993," Time, January 25, 1993, p. 23. Time cites the source of the statistics as the National Education Association.
5) An item taken from the Internet in the summer of 1999. Widely circulated, with no date or author indicated.