Dr. Gregory Taylor, a 22-year veteran of Marietta City Schools, titled his first release “Paradise Lost: The Unraveling of American Morals.”
Born and raised in Laurel, Miss., Taylor is the first African-American Marietta Schools staff member to earn a doctorate. At age 12, he was also the youngest boy in Mississippi history to become an Eagle Scout.
Taylor isn’t afraid to tackle controversial topics in his book. He includes chapters on homosexuality, abortion and race relations. He said he was inspired to write the book through his day-to-day work as an administrator compared to his previous work more than two decades ago, where he taught in the college of education at Tennessee State University and the Comprehensive Sickle Cell Center at Meharry Medical College.
“It just kind of struck me how our attitudes on freedom have changed and our moral base has changed,” he said. “I deal with kids every day. As I’ve dealt with kids over the years, I saw a change in their respect for adults and leadership. … I thought, ‘We’re going in the wrong direction.’”
Taylor said his thinking on morality comes from a biblical and historical perspective, but is applicable to present-day society.
“I think our moral base is starting to degrade to the point that we’re becoming a country that’s going to implode,” he said.
Though Taylor said the students at his school don’t typically exhibit bad behavior, he has noticed a decline in ethical standards across the board ranging from the teenagers he works with at Marietta High to their adult parents.
“I ask myself the question, ‘Am I the only one seeing this?’ Because the kids are our future,” Taylor said. “As generations go by, I see more kids raising themselves. ... What disturbs me is parents who have a lackluster interest in their own kids.”
The assistant principal, whose background includes working with the Georgia Department of Education on statewide standardized testing, said the purpose of the book isn’t to offer any answers, because he doesn’t believe there are any simple solutions.
“It brings to light that we need ongoing dialogue about certain things we see in society,” he said. “The book seeks to create dialogue with readers to see if they can make a difference in their own community.”
The author said he plans to turn the book into a series on morality, potentially turning to his background as a son of a single mother and his family’s history in the civil rights movement for future material.
“There were certain things I grew up seeing as a child that I promised myself as an adult that if I had the opportunity to make a change, I would,” he said.
The book can be purchased through Taylor’s website, www.moraldegradation.com, through Barnes & Noble’s website and on Amazon.com.