Millions of American children live in chronic trauma in America, many going to schools that do not even meet minimum safety standards and in classrooms where teachers don’t have the adequate supplies with which to teach a child how to read. A child who cannot read by the age of 8 is drastically less likely to graduate from high school, and drastically more likely to someday be incarcerated. Many of these children live in our “domestic war zones,” where psychologists say their PTSD is no less severe than that of veterans returning from Afghanistan or Iraq.
Because these children are not old enough to vote, they do not represent a constituency. And because they’re not old enough to work, they have no financial leverage and therefore cannot compete with the clout of corporate forces whose financial influence dominates the workings of our Congress.
If one person neglects a child, we consider their behavior unethical at best and criminal at worst. Then what should we consider the behavior of an entire nation that simply normalizes the despair of millions of our children?
The chronic trauma of millions of American children should be seen as a humanitarian crisis for them, and a moral crisis for our country. We should rescue them no differently than we would from any other disaster. That is why, as president, I will establish a cabinet level Department of Childhood and Youth. From wrap around services to anti-trauma programs, restorative justice to conflict resolution, medical and nutritional needs to anti-bullying, social work and drug treatment programs, we need a full co-ordination of all necessary efforts to address a huge swath of despair among our most vulnerable population.
Please see my Child Advocacy section for further details.
I deeply appreciate your support of my campaign, and I will continue to articulate what I believe to be the great moral and spiritual questions that confront our country. As our hearts change, and our policies change, we will repair America.