more concern for the welfare of its peoplernthan he has for the happiness of thernwomen he invites into his office.rn—Thomas Flemingrn”REMEMBER JONESBORO ” isrnthe latest rallying cry of the “If it can happenrnhere, it can happen anywhere”rncrowd. In one sense, of course, they’rernobviously correct: no town is immune tornthe evil influences that convince an 11-rnyear-old and a 13-year-old to shoot andrnkill their fellow students. But the Jonesbororngroupies are disingenuous: Why devoternso much attention to an extraordinaryrnevent in a sleepv Southern townrnwhen every day far more children arernkilled by other children in America’s innerrncities? It’s not hard to figure out thernanswer: the killers in Jonesboro werernwhite, and their weapons were legallyrnowned by the grandfather of one of thernchildren. In other words, Jonesboro justrnproves what the gun-control lobby has arguedrnall along: legal weapons guaranteernviolence, and Southern rednecks are therngreatest threat to peace in America.rnThe gun-control lobby took up the rallyingrncry, and undoubtedly PresidentrnClinton’s decision to release an executivernorder banning the importation of arnChinese-made copy of the AK-47 was arnresponse to Jonesboro, even though thernkids used hunhng rifles (invariably describedrnby the media as “high-poweredrnsemiautomatic assault weapons”). Mr.rnClinton’s response was predictable.rnMore disturbing was the rapidity withrnwhich “counselors” descended like vulturesrnon Jonesboro. The day after thernshootings, 50 grief counselors —somernfrom as far away as Houston—arrived inrntown. By the time the slain studentsrnwere buried, over 100 counselors had setrnup shop. (And once they’ve set up shop,rndon’t expect them to go away: one yearrnafter the bombing of the Murrah FederalrnBuilding, parents in Oklahoma Cityrncomplained that counselors were stillrnhounding their children at school.)rnGranted, the good folks of Jonesborornhad never experienced anything likernthis. But were 100 counselors—who didrnnot live in Jonesboro, who had no realrnunderstanding of life there—really necessary?rnPerhaps it would have been betterrnto let the people of Jonesboro strugglernwith their grief on their own, to let parentsrn—rather than strangers—explain torntheir children that evil is part of the humanrncondition.rnAt one time in America, most peoplernwould have agreed, and sent the meddlersrnpacking. But today, the therapeuticrnmentality reigns supreme. Americansrnare afraid to engage in the most naturalrnactions —cooking, rearing children,rntreating a cold—without consulting anrn”expert.” And increasingly, they turnrntheir children over to strangers to providernthem with sex education, drug and alcoholrneducation, early childhood education.rnAfter all, the counselor knowsrnbest—but does he?rnLast year, both U.S. News and WorldrnReport and the New Republic publishedrnstories critical of one of the most farreachingrnschool counseling organizations.rnDrug Abuse Resistance Educationrn(DARE). DARE has come under fire forrnencouraging students to turn their parentsrnin if they suspect them of usingrndrugs, but studies have also shown thatrnstudents who participate in the DARErnprogram are more likely to use drugsrnthan those who don’t. DARE, of course,rnclaims that the solution is to implementrnits program at all grade levels, not just inrnelementary schools. But the real clue tornthe DARE-drug use connection lies inrnthe philosophy of DARE itself, whichrnwas summed up nicely by Floyd Hall,rnKmart chairman and CEO, when he announcedrnthe Kmart Kids Race AgainstrnDrugs Tour this spring: “It’s importantrnfor these kids to realize they can have funrnwithout drugs.” Until Mr. Hall andrnDARE suggested otherwise, most childrenrnprobably assumed that they could.rnA high school student here in Rockford,rnmaking a presentation on alcoholrnabuse at a school board meeting, referredrnto herself as a “student leader and potentialrndrug user.” The drug and alcoholrn”counselors” who put that thought intornher mind both robbed her of her innocencernand provided her with a convenientrnexcuse for personal irresponsibility.rnWe tell our children that they are potentialrndrug users, and then when they livernup to their potential, we shake our heads,rnhold out our hands, and ask for morernmoney so that we can send the samernmessage to more children more often.rnMeanwhile, down in Jonesboro, arntown grieving over an evil act can lookrnforward to a trial that will provide themrnwith no sense of closure, since the 13-rnyear-old killer has realized that his ragernand its consequences were not his fault.rnHe has “recovered” — no doubt underrnthe guidance of a counselor—a memoryrnof sexual abuse while in daycare sevenrnyears ago. Now he is just as much a victimrnas the schoolmates he murdered.rn-ScottP.Richertrn”THE POOR you always have withrnyou” is a law that the best efforts of allrnthe king’s social workers have failed tornrevoke. The most ambitious welfarernscheme to date may be the ComprehensivernChild Development Programrn(CCDP), a research project involvingrnsome 4,000 households across the country.rnAfter nearly a decade and 300 millionrntax dollars, the project is an utter failure.rnThe CCDP is not exactiy a householdrnacronym. The Department of Healthrnand Human Services’ Administration onrnChildren, Youth, and Families, whichrnhas run the program since 1989, hasrnmade little effort to publicize it, and withrngood reason: the results do nothing to enhancernthe reputation of the social workrntrade. On the contrary, social work’srnmost sacred cow, “case management,”rnhas been slaughtered by the nine-yearrnprogram.rnIn “case management,” a social workerrnguides a household (almost always arnsingle-mother household) toward thernwealth of services offered by the modernrnwelfare state: everything from medicalrncare to Food Stamps to “parenting” classesrnto “job training” to government-subsidizedrnhousing. It’s a mystery why anyonernwould conclude that helping peoplernhelp themselves to handouts is a recipernfor getting them on the right track. Nevertheless,rncase management has beenrnthe modus operandi of the social work industpi’rnfor decades.rnBut for almost as long, the evidencernhas mounted that case inanagementrndoes not scare off any of the demons itrnpurports to exorcise: poverty, illiteracy,rndrug abuse, etc. In fact, the authors ofrnthe executive summary of the final reportrnon the CCDP (available on the web cite asrnfailed case-management models the federalrnEven Start Family Literacy Programrn(kids in the control group saw their testrnscores go up, too), and the Army’s FortrnBragg Child and Adolescent MentalrnHealth Demonstration, an $80 millionrn”substance abuse” prevention programrnthat showed “no positive effects on arnwide range of child-level outcome measures”rncompared with children in therncontrol group.rnNevertheless, CCDP was to be thernlUNE 1998/7rnrnrn