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This Is The Answer To School Violence

March 17, 2001

by Tom Barrett,

THIS IS THE ANSWER TO SCHOOL VIOLENCE. Today I received a high honor. It happened as my three-year-old daughter and I were listening to classical music in the car. Ever since we took her to see the Nutcracker she has referred to any type of classical music as "ballerina music", so the music reminded her of her upcoming dance recital. She reminded me that she was going to dance on the stage in a "pretty ballerina dress", and then surprised me by asking, "Daddy, will you dance on the stage with me?"

In addition to being touched and honored, I was reminded of a tape lent to me by one of the elders of my church, Jeff Loveland. On the tape Josh McDowell was speaking at a one-year memorial service for the victims of the Columbine shooting. He gave some fascinating statistics about the relationships of children and their parents that every American should hear.

McDowell commissioned a definitive study of the last 17 school shootings. On the surface, the results were the same as dozens of other similar studies; there seems to be no "profile" of a teenage killer. They come from poor, middle class and rich homes. Some are nerds and geeks; some are the most popular kids in school. They come from a variety of races and religions. Some make good grades; some donít. Some have been bullied, others are the bullies. McDowell went below the surface, and discovered a common thread that other studies missed or ignored. He found that in every case, the families of the murderers were superficially normal, but were in fact dysfunctional when it came to the relationship of the children with their parents. In particular, the fathers were either absent or minimally involved in parenting.

After making this discovery, McDowell commissioned another study that involved 2,000 children ages 12 to 17, and 1,000 parents. The study revealed that children raised in a SINGLE PARENT home were 30% MORE LIKELY than the national average to be involved in drugs, alcohol, and violence. I can almost hear some of you saying, "Thatís no surprise. Iíve always felt that divorce was the major cause of youth violence. Iím glad WE have two parents raising our children." Read on.

Adolescents raised in TWO PARENT families in which the father had a poor to fair relationship with his children were 68% MORE LIKELY than the national average to have problems with drugs, alcohol, and violence! That floored me. Two parents in the home are no defense against the problems weíre discussing, unless the father is close to his children. If he is not, his children are at more than twice the risk of children raised in single parent homes.

The final statistic shows us the answer to school violence, as well as a host of other problems affecting our youth. Teenagers raised in two parent families in which the father had a good to excellent relationship with his children were 96% LESS LIKELY than the national average to become involved with drugs, alcohol, and violence.

These statistics show us that many of the things that we have assumed would protect our children will not do so. You can raise your children in a two parent family in a "good" neighborhood, send them to a "good" school, and even take them to church. But if there is a lack of emotional attachment, if there is no loving bond between the children and their parents, particularly the father, children of every background are at risk. In essence, this study shows that if the boys who killed their fellow students in Colorado had enjoyed a loving relationship with their fathers, Columbine would never have happened.


THE ARTICLE ABOVE DESCRIBES THE LONG-TERM ANSWER TO SCHOOL VIOLENCE. What can we do in the short term? Our schools are full of students who have been raised without the love and guidance of a father. What can we do right now to make schools safer for our children?

ABC had a segment on Good Morning America this week in which a dozen high school students from different parts of the country were asked about school violence. The author of "Jack and Jill, Why They Kill", James Shaw, was also interviewed. He said, "Itís time we got serious about finding a cure, not simply tending to the symptoms." He described two girls ages 12 & 13, who decided to murder another girl. They were caught with a box full of knives and razor blades when another student informed on them. He told about a 15-year-old boy who almost succeeded in blowing up his school. Gun restrictions wouldnít have stopped these kids. If they canít find a gun, theyíll use poison or explosives. Shaw feels the problem is that kids donít value human life. This is the result of taking God out of the schools.

The students who were interviewed said they didnít feel safe in school. They complained that in some of their schools as many as 90% of the students engaged in some form of violence or drug use on campus. Most felt that school administrators did little other than suspend violators, who were soon back in school committing the same offenses.

Teachers are also afraid. All across the country teachers have been assaulted, raped and murdered by students. I have interviewed high school teachers who illegally carry guns to school because they are afraid of their own students. They canít enforce discipline because the school boards and courts are so liberal.

What is the answer? There isnít one answer. For the children, a good starting place might be an anger management course. Parents or teachers who see signs of unusual anger in teens would do well to visit . The New Hope Anger Management program has been featured on CBS Sunday Morning, NBC Extra, Time Magazine, and several radio broadcasts such as Health Journal and National Public Radio. They provide materials and courses to help people of all ages deal with anger.

A good starting place for the schools would be to adopt strict disciplinary policies, and for the school boards to appeal decisions of liberal judges who try to weaken them. Children need a structured environment, and most will respond to fairly administered discipline. For those who donít, society has provided an alternative structured environment that used to be called reform school. No one wants to remove kids from school, but if the alternative is an environment where children arenít able to learn because they are constantly afraid, then "one should suffer for the good of many." Especially if the "one" is a child who brings knives and guns to school and threatens others?


CHECK THIS LIST TO SEE IF YOU VOTED FOR A SOCIALIST. There are many Conservative websites on the Internet, but one of the best is On this site Mary Mostert doesnít just report the news; she provides insightful ANALYSIS of the news from a conservative viewpoint. This week she has a short article about the Members of Congress who are "Democratic Socialists." You may think your Representative is a regular, old-fashioned Democrat, but chances are better than one in ten that he or she is actually an admitted Socialist. When I read her original article on this subject ( ), I immediately emailed a request to her for the names of the Congressmen who are members of the Progressive Caucus. These people are undermining our country from within, just as Khruschev repeatedly promised the communists would do. I wanted to expose them by listing their names in this newsletter.

She did something much better than just sending me the list; she published the names of all 55 of these disciples of Marx on her website. You can check to see if YOUR Representative also represents Socialism at . They donít like to publicly admit their un-American agenda, so they use the name Congressional Progressive Caucus (sounds progressive, doesnít it?). The website of their parent organization, The Democratic Socialists of America, is more frank. They admit that they are "largest socialist organization in the United States, and the principal U.S. affiliate of the Socialist International" and that they "reject an international economic order sustained by private profit." If you want to see something scary, go to their website, . If you find it hard to believe that an organization within the U.S. Congress is affiliated with The Democratic Socialists of America, click on their search engine (the magnifying glass icon) and type in Progressive Caucus.

By the way, the Socialists didnít want me to list the names of their agents in Congress. They ignored my repeated requests for the list that Mary Mostert has provided. I felt it was important for you to know their names, because I expect them to be very vocal in the debate over the Presidentís tax relief plan.



**20% of Taxpaying Families with Children Will Pay NO Tax.
**Gives a tax-cut to EVERY family that PAYS INCOME TAXES.
**Reduces and simplifies income-tax rates by 2006. The FOUR new rates will be 10%, 15%, 25%, and 33% (down from the FIVE current ones of 15%, 28%, 31%, 36% and 39.6%).
**Doubles the child tax-credit, increasing it from $500 to $1000 by 2005. Raises the combined income limit for married couples to qualify from $110,000 to $200,000.
**Eliminates the death tax, gradually rolling it back over eight years.
**Reduces the marriage penalty. For two-income families, allows a 10% deduction of the lower-earning spouseís income, up to $6000. On average, this would eliminate roughly half the marriage penalty for couples with a combined income between $50,000 and $100,000.
**Expands tax deductions for charitable donations by allowing taxpayers who do not itemize to deduct them.
**Raises the cap on corporate charitable contributions.
**Makes the tax credit for business research and development permanent.
**Raises the limit on IRA contributions.
**Allows penalty-free IRA withdrawals by individuals over 55 of donations to charity.

America Needs a Tax-Cut:
**Federal taxes are the highest theyíve ever been in peacetime.  
**Americans pay more in taxes than they spend on food, clothing and shelter combined.
**Americans work nearly five months of the year just to pay their tax bill.
**High tax rates are keeping low-income taxpayers out of the middle-class.
**Economic slowing and widespread corporate layoffs prove that our economy needs a boost -- now.
**Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan stated that at this point in the economy, tax cuts are not only fiscally prudent, but also necessary.
**The typical family now pays over 40 percent of their income in taxes after accounting for all federal, state and local taxes. This is more than twice the rate paid by the typical family in 1955.

The Tax Cut Helps Families:
**One in five taxpaying families with children will no longer pay an income tax at all, completely removing 6 million American families from tax rolls.
**A family of four making $25,000 will get a 100% federal income tax cut.
**A family of four making $50,000 will get a 50% tax cut.
**A family of four making $75,000 will receive a 25% tax cut.
(Thanks to "Ira" at


WHO WOULD BECOME VICE-PRESIDENT if Cheney stepped down? Recently when Vice-President Cheney
experienced mild chest pains he checked into the hospital, where doctors determined he had NOT had a heart attack. They found that scar tissue had built up the site of an earlier procedure, and removed it the same day. The news media tried to make a big thing out of it, but Cheney was out of the hospital in a day, and back at work almost immediately. That took the wind out of their sails and they had to go looking for another story.

Even though this incident turned out to be a non-event, it raised the question of succession briefly. Our Vice-President, despite a history of heart problems, is in great shape and will almost certainly serve the nation for his entire term of office. However, the question of who would replace him if necessary is a valid one. For a time speculation centered on me, because of all the help Conservative Truth gave Bush & Cheney during the election. When I made it clear that I was too busy writing to serve in that position (besides, itís too cold in Washington, D.C.!), attention shifted to Colin Powell.

Most people know that there is a detailed succession process for the office of the president, and assume the same is true for vice-president. Not so. In fact for most of our history there has not even been a requirement to fill the office if the vice-president becomes president. Harry Truman served almost four years without a vice-president. Lyndon Johnson was the last president to serve without a vice-president following the assassination of JFK. Less than two years after Kennedyís death, the 25th Amendment was passed.

This amendment clarified the succession process for the presidency and detailed the procedures to be used in case of the temporary disability of a president. But for the purposes of this article, the Second Clause is key, because it REQUIRES the new president to appoint a vice-president. "Whenever there is a vacancy in the office of the Vice President, the President shall nominate a Vice President who shall take office upon confirmation by a majority vote of both Houses of Congress."  You will notice that, according to this language, the president could appoint ANYONE to the office. While I was, of course, joking about Bush nominating me, he could have. The problem would be gaining approval of a majority of both Houses of Congress.

Colin Powell would have no such problem. He is respected by members of both parties, and would easily win the approval of Congress in the unlikely event that Bush would need to nominate a replacement for Cheney. So America can rest easy in the knowledge that for the first time in eight years, leadership is not a problem for our nation.


THIS IS A SITE YOU SHOULD CHECK OUT. started as a website devoted to life in Alabama. It has evolved into a fascinating collection of?well, you just have to see it. "Ira" (not his real name) emailed me some time back to ask if he could include my weekly emails as a column on his site. I readily agreed, as I have with many other websites. He is very democratic (small "d") about the kinds of things he includes. Hereís how he introduced the addition of my material. "This week we begin a new page, The Conservative Truth. It is an opinion page written weekly by Tom Barrett. He was an eyewitness to the goings on in Florida after the election, and we have the piece he wrote posted in the library. For conservatives it is a confirmation of what you suspected, and for liberals it will probably be eye-opening. The invitation for any liberal who can write coherently is still open for a spot on the site." I like the fact that he is open to allowing different viewpoints. I think youíll like his site.


AN EASY WAY TO LET YOUR LEGISLATORS KNOW WHAT YOU THINK. Theyíre SUPPOSED to be Public SERVANTS. Yet most of the time most of them define the phrase "Self serving." Everyone who receives this newsletter has email. Use it. Send emails to your Senators and Congressmen on a regular basis. So few people call or write to their legislators, that they consider each person that contacts them as representing the views of TEN constituents. So every email you send is like sending ten! To find the email address of your legislators, go to:

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