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Shad White holds panel discussion on importance of present fathers

Shad White
Photo courtesy of the Mississippi Office of the State Auditor

State Auditor Shad White, on Wednesday, hosted a panel discussion on the positive impact present fathers have on their children.

The panel was held at Germantown High School and follows an August report from White that outlines the societal and economic costs of fatherlessness in Mississippi.

White was joined by former NFL player and White House appointee Jack Brewer as well as Mississippi’s Second Lady, Lynn Hosemann.

Former Miss Mississippi and Miss U.S.A. Asya Branch also delivered a special message during the event.

The panel discussed widely available data which demonstrates the importance of a father or father figure in a child’s life. Points of discussion included:

  • Fatherless children are less likely to obtain a high school degree than children with present fathers. The Auditor’s report shows Mississippi taxpayers will likely lose $560 million due to the fatherless children who dropped out of school during the 2021-2022 school year alone.
  • Boys from fatherless homes are more likely to go to prison than boys who have present fathers. Statistics show Mississippi taxpayers likely pay $180 million each year to imprison men who were raised in a fatherless home.
  • Fatherless girls are more likely to be teen mothers than girls with involved fathers. Data show taxpayers in Mississippi likely spent over $50 million on costs like increased foster care as a result of fatherless teen mothers in 2019 alone.

After the panel discussion, White and Brewer met with state legislators and discussed the importance of programs — like the Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps (JROTC) — to help mitigate the cycle of fatherlessness in Mississippi.

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