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It’s kinda funny. A school teacher in Connecticut calls the cops when she hears the janitor doing karaoke over the school PA system. The custodian was doing his heartfelt rendition of “Welcome to the Jungle.” Among the lyrics is the poignant phrase: “you’re in the jungle baby, you’re gonna die.” It was these words that rattled the teacher. Little wonder. These days, the Blackboard Jungle is a pretty scary place. Teachers are routinely blown away by troubled youth. Teachers are held at gunpoint by a government that wants no child left behind. Teachers in low-performing schools are held hostage by standardized tests that ultimately and mercilessly determine where they stand as a teacher. And the biggest gun held to their heads is the one that demands school teachers to inspire our callow youth to achieve the sort of lofty goals that lax parenting, overextended two-income households and poverty-stricken single moms fail to. The cultural cannon is blasting away at the school teacher. And no one stops to think that academic excellence never has rested in their hands. Kids learn to love books when they see parents’ noses wedged in a novel. Kids learn to work hard in school when Mom requires them to work hard at home. Kids keep their beaks out of the nose candy when Dads model contentment, godliness and love. The classroom can only do so much. And parents have to do a whole lot more. That has always been the case. After all, it’s a jungle, baby.


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