Are at risk kids just creatures responding to their environments with no hope of assimilating into mainstream life? There have always been kids who live on the margin of society and I suspect there will always be kids who live on the fringe of “the good life.”
It’s not a question of eliminating all social ills. It’s a question of allowing all that is good about tough environments flourish, while at the same time negating those aspects of tough environments that make it exceedingly difficult for kids rising from those environments to function.
Let’s be real: the system sucks, in a lot of ways. Minority kids have it harder. Not much, in some cases, but harder is harder. People of color didn’t invent the game that we all struggle to play; people of color surely didn’t invent the rules of the game. In many cases, people of color aren’t even told which game they’re supposed to be playing. It’s a circle and a self-perpetuating cycle.
We aren’t going to change kids who are at risk of failing the system. But, we can realize that the kids aren’t the problem. The system is at risk of failing the kids. The system is what we should all seek to change.