I read where our children in Mercer, McDowell and several surrounding counties are fairing badly for low birth weight, child death rate, percentage of children eligible for free lunches and mothers with less than a 12th grade education.

The article suggests that our counties are state are to blame for these findings.

Now let’s get to the real problem. The biggest factor first and foremost in my opinion is parents must become more responsible in keeping their children from drugs and reinforcing right from wrong. You would be amazed to the extent which some parents condone their children’s behavior, allowing them with the wrong crowd, not keeping abreast of what’s going on in their lives and not taking the time to talk with their kids about the dangers of drugs and the consequences of getting a criminal record.

I am sure there are more factors that may be contributing to this statistic but these are some of the most important. We simply cannot blame the counties nor the state for these problems. Our school systems are a strong influence in developing our children's habits but with one teacher for 40 students we cannot rely on our schools to be the sole leader.

While I do not blame anyone in particular. I have noticed just how irresponsible some parents have become. We see this in the recent child abuse problem that occurred here in Mercer County. We need parents to become more observant. We need to get rid of the drugs, see that our children finish their education and enforce right from wrong ... I realize this is a tough one to solve but we can’t blame the counties nor the state for this disaster.

George Mosko

Bluefield, W.Va.

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