Our Opinion: Importance of doing something meaningful
“Working group” too often is a political term that translates in the long run to talking much about a problem — but doing little. Let us hope a meeting hosted by first lady Melania Trump this week breaks the mold.
Mrs. Trump called a meeting Monday at the White House of the Interagency Working Group on Youth Programs. An alphabet-soup lineup of federal agencies, ranging from the Agency for International Development to the Environmental Protection Agency, sent representatives to the gathering. The working group was established under former President George W. Bush.
It appears Mrs. Trump aims at jump-starting worthwhile coordination of federal programs aimed at helping young people. Her chosen vehicle is her own “Be Best” initiative. It is intended to improve children’s lives, with concentrations on online safety and drug abuse prevention.
Both serious concerns in a variety of ways. Keeping children from coming to harm physically, emotionally, even financially because of their online activities is a problem that grows, seemingly geometrically, by the day.
And drug abuse is a two-pronged challenge for children. First, obviously, we need to do a better job of convincing young people that drug abuse is dangerous — something with which even experimenting can be hazardous.
Second, all-too-many children have found themselves cast adrift by parents hooked on drugs. Worse, some are abused actively by addicted adults. Helping these youngsters is important, and it is a challenge with which schools and social service agencies nationwide are having trouble coping.
Precisely what type of federally coordinated campaign to better the lives of children Mrs. Trump has in mind is unknown. Her greatest service may well be making the federal bureaucrats understand the importance of doing something meaningful.