As a retired school psychologist in the 1990s and juvenile probation officer before that in the 1960s, the author has seen, over the years, an increasing level of violence, escapism into drugs, aberrant lifestyles, and vicious bullying resulting in some fragile children committing suicide. School personnel and police officials will tell you that these are very anxious and depressing—and uncertain times for young people. They need our caring attention. The author’s concern in these regards is the gradual erosion of the professionalism of our teachers and public education in general. Public education is the bulwark of our democratic society, and if we neglect it, we will suffer an erosion of the quality of our lives and our position of leadership in the world.
My two careers as a juvenile probation officer and then as a school psychologist have given me a unique perspective on the state of our Nation and how it has impacted the youth of America. In addition, to my advanced degree in psycho-educational services, I also bring an undergraduate degree background in political science and history. It is my deep conviction that the health and viability of our society is a direct reflection of the health and viability of our educational systems and the integrity of our families and community support. I think there is indisputable evidence of this (from developmental psychology and community sociology) if we want to focus our attention in that direction. To me, it is self-evident.