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Trusted local news leader for Prescott area communities since 1882
8:25 AM Sun, Dec. 16th

Column: Kids are learning right and wrong from us at this moment

Our children are watching ...

... while we make choices that will determine whether they learn to love or hate.

... as we determine what will have meaning in their lives and what will not.

... what we choose to confront and what we choose to ignore.

... how we value social conscience and moral institutions.

Our children are watching ...

... while we turn refugee children away from our communities.

... as we send them back to continue their suffering and hasten their deaths.

... as we determine whether we are part of the problem or part of the solution.

... and wondering how we justify our decisions.

Our children are watching ...

... while we systematically deny many of them their chance to achieve the American Dream.

... as we define what is sacred and what is profane.

... what we teach them to see if it is good and right and just and honorable.

... how we reconcile our words and concerns about them with our actions.

Our children are watching ...

... while we try to overcome personal limitations and ignorance.

... as we model the obligations of citizenship.

... what we stand and fall for.

... how we talk about people whose ancestry is different from ours.

Our children are watching...

... what we do as opposed to what we tell them we do.

... how we reconcile private self-interests with the common good.

... while we show them how to, then tell them not to.

... what we believe to be decent and civilizing and virtuous.

Our children are watching ...

... while we permit bigotry and prejudice and hate to spread.

... as we wrestle with rigid ideologies, dogma, faith and evidence.

... what we say about those who disagree with our politics.

... and asking whether we truly care about them.

Our children are watching and wondering ...

... why we permit the state poverty rate to be among the highest in the nation.

... why one in three children in our county live in poverty.

... why 718 children in our three adjoining school districts were homeless last year.

... why so many of them wake up hungry each morning and don't know whether they will have anything to eat that day.

Our children are watching and wondering ...

... why candidates for public office pay so little attention to them.

... why legislators ignored a statewide vote that ordered them to increase funding to the public schools.

... if state leaders will provide the public schools with the 317 million that is owed them.

... why our education system is so poorly supported by the legislature.

The children are watching ... and learning!

Dr. Ron Barnes is a retired educator and businessman.