Conclusion

The “Missing Class” exists because few people are aware that it exists. They are passed over and forgotten. They fill the low statistics of dropouts and the underpaid. They work hard every day struggling to keep from plummeting into poverty, yet these silenced make up 18.7% (57 million) of American citizens. They are silenced by their inability, for a number of reasons, to voice their troubles. They keep themselves afloat, without any aid, through shear determination that they will not fall from just above the poverty line.

The position of these individuals, especially those living in Falmouth, Massachusetts, is exacerbated by the failure of society to understand the struggles they face. Schools do not accommodate students with jobs; employers fail to recognize the necessity of education. Parents trudge through long hours and multiple jobs without watching the development of the children they work so hard to support, until that child joins them in the work force.

Economics, alone, drive the existence of the “Missing Class” and in this necessary focus on materialism, the dignity of the worker, the parent, the child, the family, the student, and the individual, in all his dimensions, is lost. The fundamental cell of the family, of familial relations and obligations, is lost as children work with parents to support one another. Children miss the opportunity of education, the source of their ability to rise out of the “Missing Class,” and as such miss a fundamental part of their formation as a person.

The government, but even more especially the school systems, has an obligation to these individuals, an obligation to bring these students through school, motivating them rather than allowing them to drift through the system. The system is in place to establish the minimum requirements for schools, administrators and teachers. Like so many government policies: including health care, financial aid, and welfare, the minimum fails to embody the spirit of the right protected; “there is a gap between the “letter” and the “spirit” of human rights,” (CSDS 158) a gap which can only be filled through the individual recognition of the persons responsible for implementing and ensuring the success and protection of all the rights due to the dignity of the human person.

WORKS CITED