By David Bornstein
Samuel was out of control. He cursed at his teacher, refused to do school work, attacked other kids in the schoolyard — and Samuel was still in kindergarten. His home life was chaotic. He’d never met his father. His mother had emotional and drug problems and was unable to care for him. His grandmother did her best. His older brother was involved in violent crime and had been in and out of jail. He taught Samuel to smoke marijuana when he was 6 years old.
If this story had continued on its trajectory, Samuel (not his real name) would have likely been one of the million American students who drop out of school each year. He would be at serious risk of getting entangled in the justice system and becoming a young parent who perpetuates the cycle of neglect and violence.