Gov. Barbour Calls For Return to Traditional American ValuesBy Sandra Knispel | Published 07 Dec 2011 10:09pm |
High numbers of children born to single mothers and a lack of family values are at the core of most of Mississippi’s problems says outgoing Governor Haley Barbour. MPB’s Sandra Knispel caught up with him on the first leg of his political farewell tour and files this report from Tupelo.
The thrust of the governor’s argument is that we are in danger of losing core values that have in the past ensured Western societies’ survival.
"If we had more intact families, led by two parents, if we had fewer children born to teenage mothers, if parents required their children to take advantage of the education that we offer them for free, and if everybody who can work did work, or at least tried to get a job -- I will tell you then there is no problem that we have that wouldn't be less of a problem."
Speaking in Tupelo yesterday, Barbour told business and community leaders gathered at the BancorpSouth Conference Center that high-school dropouts affect everyone.
“It won’t just be a problem for the kid that dropped out of school. It will become a problem for his or her community, because the community won’t have enough skilled workers to attract the industries and then the area won’t have enough skilled workers. So, don’t think that dropouts aren’t your problem.”
Listening in the audience was David Rumbarger, president of the Tupelo-based Community Development Foundation.
“Of course dropout is not just one solution it’s many solutions and that’s what we’re trying. We’re trying five or six different solutions… bringing some pregnant kids back into the classroom after they’ve had their babies to finish out their high school education so they can graduate with their class.”
For Barbour it all boils down to this: “Part of the solution to every problem is the return to traditional American values.”
Today, the governor will speak in Jackson, this time about education. On December 15th Barbour will be in Biloxi to talk about budget responsibility.
Sandra Knispel, MPB News, Tupelo.
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