Once again, the civic leaders inside this city leave a mark that’s just as soon forgotten. This time, Marion Christopher Barry, the son of Washington’s former mayor, Marion Barry, was indicted on possession of drugs and PCP.

Insert your favorite joke here about the apple not falling too far from the tree or whatever euphemism you care to use.

Apparently, Marion Jr. was dealing the same substances his father was notorious for while running this city. And when the five-O came knocking, Junior jumped out his window and fled. At least he was smarter than the old man to have an apartment where a jump wouldn’t kill him. It was only a matter of time, however, before he returned to his apartment and was arrested.

This is sad, folks. Just sad. But I guess we all have to step back and ask, “What did we expect?”

In 1990, Barry the Elder was deep into his third term as mayor of Washington. But that ride came to an abrupt end as he was caught in an FBI sting operation that filmed the public official smoking crack cocaine and blaming everyone but himself for his actions.

Unfortunately, episodes and recurrences like the Barrys’ happen every day in America. The sins of the father spill over onto the son. Why? They learn this behavior. There is no authority figure in the home to set what’s right from wrong for the children.

We know children are led by example, and when the only example they have to follow is that of a criminal deviant, deviancy soon follows.

WARNING: shameless plug about to occur! This is exactly one of the issues I discuss in my new book, Reawakening Virtues (available in your favorite bookstore or online at Amazon.com). How can society ever hope to better itself when parents don’t wake up, stand up and shape up to be more active participants in how their children are raised?

When parents do more in the home, society as a whole benefits. There’s no better social program than a good home. No, good homes don’t always exist, but so long as parents carelessly shirk their duties to raise their children in good, honorable and morally sound directions, we’ll see more Marion Barrys in court and prison.