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Next week, the “experts” will share their views at a National Juvenile Justice Network confab in New Orleans. There surely will be lots of liberal gumbo ya-ya on how best to save our incarcerated youths by increasing the role of government and lessening the stern roles that parents and teachers play in youths’ lives. After all, with all the before- and after-school programs funded with our tax dollars, our children spend more time inside a schoolhouse than they do at home.

Small wonder they don’t listen to us anymore.

Listen, children aren’t born with how-to books in their mouths. That’s why it is up to parents to establish ground rules and reprimand consistently and regularly. We already know what happens to our children if we relinquish our God-given authority.

Better our children learn right and wrong from us than have to learn the playbook from the sheriff, police chief or warden - even if that means spanking a wayward child.

Call it home rule.

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Deborah Simmons can be reached at