FOR decades marriage has been repeatedly attacked from certain quarters. Rap and Grime artists have openly promoted men avoiding taking responsibility for their children.

Add to this the benefit culture, the damage done to communities, and increasing social divisions.

There are many now unmarried mothers with several children by as many fathers, who are nowhere to be seen.

People such as Barack Obama have spoken about how absentee fathers are a factor behind growing numbers of people ending up in prison.

A child needs both parents to be positive role models in their life. Without these the child obtains their values and morals elsewhere.

Without such as youth clubs, church groups, cadet forces, the Scouts, Girl Guides, etc, to help do this, many end up involved in gangs. Within her letter M. Glew (HAS, Oct 17) blames parents for children taking knives and other weapons to school (Echo, Oct 16).

Parents do share some of the blame, but the blame also belongs to those who over the years have damaged the institute of marriage, promoted a culture of absentee fathers, damaged communities, widened social divisions, and cut funding to youth clubs.

All of which are factors in increasingly more children taking weapons into school.

CT.Riley, Spennymoor.