The chaos in Missouri makes all of us weep. Is there a solution? Yes.
A sad comment was made by Leslie McSpadden, Michael Brown's mother. To a St. Louis newspaper, she cried out as to why kids like her son do not graduate or find it so difficult to graduate from high school: "Because you bring them down to this type of level, where they feel like they don't got nothing to live for anyway."
Who would make teenage children feel as if they have nothing to live for? Why would they do this? We are all part of our local, state, national and world communities. To diminish one person means to diminish us all. We need each other to be the very best person he/she can be regardless of race, color or creed.
Those involved with the Wisconsin Character Education Partnership understand the virtues of respect and caring for one another. WCEP schools want everyone involved with their communities to succeed. They believe when one succeeds, all succeed. They work hard every day to build exciting, peaceable classrooms where every person from the administration to the youngest child is respected and valued. Teachers will flock to schools like this.
The most wonderful process starts to happen. Just like the old song about the wheels on the school bus go round and round, so does caring, respect and performance become a circular process at schools imbued with character education.
The answer is not guns, tanks and the National Guard. The answer is building character in every corner of our country. We can start with primary schools where concerned parents, caring teachers/administrators and eager, innocent children build a community where everyone has something to live for. Instead of being impediments to becoming excellent citizens, our schools will show the way.
Never do we want to see a Ferguson again. Our need for each other is much too strong.