It takes a village?

Brief by Central Staff

Community – August 2006 – Colorado Central Magazine

A study commissioned by Breckenridge’s town government about youth in Summit County brings to mind the saying, “It takes a village to raise a child.”

The 31-page study noted that many local parents lead relatively non-traditional lifestyles. People who moved to the mountains during the 1960s through the 1980s (and seemingly even today), were part of the “immediate-gratification cultures,” says the consultant, Lynn Johnson.

There are problems with absentee parents, and there is less rootedness. Fewer than 30 percent of the county’s residents lived in the same house in 2000 that they lived in 5 years earlier. That is the lowest rate of housing stability of any county in Colorado. And there is a lack of positive role models among the 20-somethings, who tend to have money, time, and a lack of responsibilities.

The report found that substance abuse is the most common problem, although intense methamphetamine use is lacking. So is gang violence. ACT and other test scores are higher than average. However, the drop-out rate among Hispanics is disproportionate to that of Caucasians.

The government is rearing Summit County’s children, Johnson told the council. “No matter the reason, many parents, but not all, have removed themselves from the universal tasks of parenting that is guiding and shaping the young,” the study stated.

So let’s get this straight. Kids in Breckenridge have low methamphetamine use, no gang violence, and their ACT scores are high, yet we’re supposed to believe that their parents are negligent?

Perhaps it would be more apropos to conclude that the study commissioned by the Breckenridge government is incredibly self-serving.