I believe it’s really tough to be a child today and especially if you’re a male child.
Nationally, according to The Manhattan Institute, only 60% of boys will graduate from high school. When you control for ethnicity, the statistics are even lower for minorities, with only 50% ever graduating 12th grade.
So, what is going on with our boys?
Boys are by nature loud, messy, unorganized and restless. They learn best by tactile activities, have vivid imaginations and love to laugh . . . loudly at inappropriate times!
In addition, boys continue to need help in literacy and expressing creativity. Across the world, boys are much weaker in reading than girls and our education system does not allow our boys to fully engage in their creative spirit – in writing, reading, drawing and certainly in singing. Boys are considered violent and rough in their play . . . and somehow our boys are failing and we are failing them too. I sometimes worry about the future of our young boys.
All but two percent of school shootings are perpetrated by our boys and being bullied is now a common occurrence at schools.
Too harsh or not true? Ask a boy and he’ll tell you the way it ‘really’ is out there. I know, because I have asked hundreds of them.
Father Flannigan of “Boy’s Town” says, “There are no bad boys really – just sad boys and mad boys. No boy really WANTS to be bad.”
And boys are also talented, caring, love to draw and make intense friendships with other boys, sometimes for life. They love being in a like-minded group . . . sports, scouts and choirs are many times havens for boys. I know this first hand too from the thousands that have been in our organization.
Yes, I am worried about the state of our boys . . . but I take great solace in knowing that for thirty-three years we have provided a safe and creative place for boys to come and safely express the beauty they possess in their God-given voices. In a pro-active and positive activity that engages their hearts as well as their minds, they are able to achieve great things and have great fun . . . all the while never hiding the delightful fact that they are a boy. Hopefully they will take those feelings and what they learn out into the world of other boys and help make a difference . . . one boy at a time.
Our future is dependent on the success of all our boys today. The real question is, what are we doing to ensure that happens?