Joe Clark (Paterson, N.J., high school principal noted for expelling students) is not an educator. He remains a drill sergeant. In the Reagan era obedience and simplicity bring a false sense of relief against systematic disorder in a society yielding its duties to future generations.
Clark's methods echo this easy way out; ignore behavioral science, blame the individual. After all, Reagan claims criminals choose to be evil and clearly the message, considering the percentage of minorities incarcerated, belies his racial insensitivity.
McKenna would never consider being referred as a "hero;" he knows the struggle is only in its early stages. He doesn't condemn the individual, realizing a multiplicity of circumstances determine each person's direction. Unfortunately, words as "love and support" are too complex compared to "control" and "bash," and certainly unfashionable in these times.
Clark's and Reagan's youth may move up the ladder with diplomas and honors from obedience school, however, McKenna's youth will experience the quality life offers. Hopefully, there is a cure for infectious institutionalized tunnel vision.