Read Chapter 1 of 'Jack and Jill'

· In Miami, nine high school students were jailed for distributing an underground newspaper in which one writer speculated: "I have often wondered what would happen if I shot Dawson [the school principal] in the head and other teachers who have p---ed me off."

· A Wheaton, Illinois 15-year-old was jailed after trying to recruit a friend to help him gun down fellow students.

· In Macon County, Tennessee, two 13-year-olds were suspended after a teacher found a note titled "Death List" naming 15 students. A police investigation turned up a second list with 77 names.

· In three separate instances occurring the same week, officials in Fairfax County, Virginia suspended students for posting a "personal death list" of 17 names on a website, writing a note naming seven students the writer wanted to die, and threatening to put a bomb in a teacher's cabinet.

· A 15-year-old in Incline Village, Nevada was jailed for writing a note threatening to kill several classmates.

· In St. Charles, Missouri, police arrested three sixth-grade boys for plotting to shoot classmates on the last day of school.

· Police in Cheshire, Connecticut launched an investigation into a student underground newspaper for printing a column suggesting that a science teacher "needs a serious attitude adjustment, possibly a hollow-point .45 to the head."

· In Texas, gunpowder, crude bombs and computer disks with bomb-making information were found in the homes of three 14-year-old boys accused of plotting an assault at their junior high school. Before their arrests, they were targeting fellow students and teachers.

· Police in Littleton, Colorado discovered a year-long, hand-written diary in which Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold wrote their "massacre plan," set specific dates and times for their assault, worked with a campus map, and even designed intricate hand signals to help ensure a high body count when they stormed the building. Their diary was laden with Nazi epithets and racial slurs.

Braying and bellowing need not define a child's life. But there is one universal fact that will forever continue to define the relationship between parents and their children. This fact can be neither overstated nor overlooked: Parents are their children's first teachers. Parents have control over their children long before they begin to socialize outside the family as school-age minors. Parents are the "captains" of the family "ship" and set the compass that determines where the family is going. Whether and how moral and spiritual training are instilled, what particular values and beliefs are necessary to hold the family together, and the kind and quality of education required for making a child a significant contributor to society, are all critical decisions that must be made by parents. It would not be an exaggeration to say that the weight and fate of the world rests upon the shoulders of parents.

Being a parent is a full-time job. Parental responsibilities cannot be fulfilled by people who have only a part-time commitment and, of course, are never fulfilled by those who abandon their responsibilities altogether.

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