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The need for widespread social/emotional education in schools

The need to have social/emotional education throughout the nation:

The journey that a troubled child goes through to become so embittered and hateful to lash out to kill his classmates or innocents in a school, synagogue or church is a very complex one. It is not solved by a moment of silence as some have recently suggested. One does not become an engineer with a daily moment of silence, just as it is not accomplished to become a quality person of character by a daily moment of silence.

The reason that the politicians don’t take character training or character education seriously is because the public doesn’t take it seriously. The reason the public doesn’t take it seriously is because the mental health professionals don’t take it seriously. The reason the mental health profession doesn’t take it seriously is because they believe either that “mental illness” is predominantly caused by a genetic defect or because it’s caused mainly by “abuse” and nowadays that swings mainly to sexual abuse but neither of those things are true.

It doesn’t stand to reason that all of a sudden our genetic make-up became defective or that there is a spate of abuses, sexual or otherwise, in modern times - in the last 20 years or so. What has happened is that cultural or spiritual awareness or consciousness has eroded terribly, since the 60’s revolution, on a continuing basis along with the lack of formation of a nuclear family for all segments of society i.e. not just blacks. It is for this reason that our young people are in a boat with only one oar. They spin around and around - those outside of a clique - and they find no purpose in life with nothing to do. Therefore they lash out at all those who either explicitly made fun of them through comments or outright bullying to even all those who just ignored them.

I’m saying that it is time for the schools to not only hand out breakfasts and lunches to kids who don’t have them from home but also to provide spiritual sustenance to those who don’t have it from home. There is a vicious conspiracy of silence between the right and the left regarding this issue. The right doesn’t want the schools to “indoctrinate” their children with “morals” and the left deny the fundamental need for taking responsibility for one’s character traits in forming a productive outcome in their lives. They would rather blame the “establishment” and “old white men” for all of the problems that minority and poor people have.

But it’s no longer a matter of just minorities’ problems anymore. We saw from the Trump election that there’s a whole segment of white people who feel left out also and for those reasons along with spiritual emptiness that young people are lashing out with such viciousness that we have never seen before. And we see now that it is affecting all communities as well.

The civil rights movement started from the church and the character development rights should start from the religious community as well. It could start from the black churches but many of those are too busy fighting the white establishment over “racism”. It could also start from non-Orthodox synagogues but they’re too busy following the lead of the black churches because they are just followers of the civil rights movement. It could also start from the Christian evangelists but they’re too insular and worried about abortion rights and fighting LGBTQ people to worry about the spate of culturally orphaned children that we’re raising with only pain and rage in their hearts.

I wonder what our Orthodox Torah leaders have to say about this. In Europe Jews were powerless to contribute anything to the discussion in the public square. The church, if anything, would have a say but not lowly and despised Jews. So it’s understandable why Torah leaders then were not vocal in terms of what governments should or should not do. What about now? Are today's Torah leaders that powerless? When I met with a local state senator to incorporate this feature in a state education curriculum he said to me to bring him a sizable portion of voters who are asking for this. I couldn’t because no one in my community was interest in this. Writing articles in the papers to decry anti-semitism and hate towards mankind isn't enough.

Unfortunately the crazed young people or even some middle aged people who are brought up without character and meaning and are brought to rage and feelings of vengeance are not swayed by wonderful articles in the paper or magnificent speakers at rallies. We need to get to all children in the nation of school age to save them from this epidemic of alienation and rage.

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