What do you think about an urban school district that, in the first three months of school, had 19 reports of weapons confiscated and 42 assaults by kids?
That’s awful, you say.
What a shame, you say. Yes, it is; but that’s not the half of it: That was in kindergarten and first grade.
Claudia Wallace, writing in Time magazine, reported this from Philadelphia. It would be terrible if this were the case in only one city. It is not. According to some authorities, violence among kids is getting a younger and younger face. At first, it was high schools that had to have special schools for disruptive youngsters. Then it was the intermediate schools. Now it is elementary schools that have to have special schools for unmanageable kids. Something terrible is happening to our youngest kids.
I could give you all the statistics. I could give you examples of bad kids that would curl your hair. But I am not sure you would grasp the significance of what I am saying. Claudia Wallace cited a an example of a three-year-old who took a fork and stabbed another child in the forehead. At one school in Fort Worth, a youngster was asked to put a toy away. The kid began to scream. She was told to calm down, but then knocked over a desk, kicked it, dumped out the contents of all the drawers. And then things began to really get bad. Still shrieking, she stood up and began throwing books at her terrified classmate who had to be ushered to safety.
No one who is associated with the problem doubts for a moment that something really bad is going on. Why is it happening? What is causing this? Well, an experienced elementary school administrator in Miami, said something piercingly simple…