WTVM Editorial 6/18/18: The value of fathers

(WTVM) - Last Sunday we celebrated Father's Day, a relatively new holiday when you consider it wasn't until 1966 that President Johnson designated the third Sunday in June as the National day to celebrate fathers.

There's no doubt fathers deserve a holiday. Especially in these times, when it can seem to some of us that men are not always as valued as they have been in the past. But the need for strong, engaged fathers has never been more important than now.

The evidence that fathers make a positive difference in their child's life is overwhelming.

Here are just some of the sobering statistics that make up that evidence.

85 percent of young people in jail grew up in a home without a father.

Children who grow up in fatherless homes are twice as likely as those with fathers to end up in jail.

Children who grow up without a father's involvement are twice as likely to drop out of high school.

Children without fathers in the home are four times more likely to have emotional or behavioral problems that require assistance.

In fact, consider an extreme example of that: when it comes to cases of young male mass shooters, in almost every case, from the recent Parkland Florida school shooting to the Charleston church massacre, these young men are almost always found to have no father or father figures in their lives.

That's at the far end of a disturbing scale to be sure.

But the truth is that the value of a father who is present, who cares, who teaches, and who sets a good example for their children can never be overestimated. Father's Day should remind us how much we need our fathers every day of the year.

General Manager Holly Steuart brings two editorials a week to WTVM. If you would like to respond to an editorial, e-mail your response to hsteuart@wtvm.com or write to:

WTVM Editorial Committee

1909 Wynnton Road

Columbus, GA 31906

Copyright 2018 WTVM. All rights reserved.