Divorce hampers child development

How to fix the classroom? Start with the family

I am a 44-year veteran public school teacher, and I am addressing this letter to all parents. It is with a heavy heart that I write this letter, but if just one child, one parent or one family is helped by these words from personal insight, then my efforts are not in vain. I, as well as the vast majority of caring teachers throughout our land, make it my primary goal that all of our students achieve maximum success and move forward in life, but a far stronger influence beyond the controls of our classrooms is preventing our students from reaching their full potentials.

Every psychological study ever done on child development has shown that children need stability as much as food, water and oxygen, but the very element that our students need most to achieve success has been thoughtlessly and, in most cases, selfishly stolen away by the ravages of divorce. Parents of America, wake up! You are destroying your very own children. Politicians open your eyes. Our students' low achievement is not due to lack of educational funding, inadequate testing or poor teaching methods. All the taxpayer money wasted on meaningless tests and raising educational standards will never achieve the desired results if our children's minds are constantly focused on more important issues like "Will Daddy and Mommy get back together again" or "Who is going to take care of me?"

Is it any wonder that teen depression, suicide, drug use and promiscuity are epidemic in America? Parents, I have discovered through my many years of teaching the most important ingredient necessary for student achievement and success. It is called the family, the only real source of true security where the love between husband and wife and children remains forever unconditional and in God's sight, morally pure.

Neill G. Russell, Queenstown

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