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Monday, March 09, 2009

What to do about education?

Last night I posted a blog at The Sixth Ward about a parent wanting school choice for her children. This morning I also posted an op/ed about the number of Chicago Public School students who fell victim to gun violence. This raises some thoughts.

First off I'm not yet a parent, but when I do I would like very much to have the ability to determine where my child should go to school. I hope that the choice I make will be safe and beneficial for my child. The better start that they get earlier in their lives, hopefully will pay off when they start college. Although I'd be alright if they were otherwise very productive citizens who themselves have their eyes on how well their own children do in school.

That being said let's talk about students getting shot.

That's a problem that occurs anywhere there are crime ridden neighborhoods. Young people preyed on by those who are headed towards the criminal life. Or indeed kids shooting each other over something that made them mad about something. Who knows what the reason is.

The op/ed I found wants to see additional support for those children who are prone to violence. Additional counselors or social workers to help them thru their struggles in dangerous neighborhoods or their home lives are terribly dysfunctional. There is someone these young people can reach out to before they can disrupt the class and school thru various antics.

I do believe what happens out of school is important. What happens at home or in the neighborhood is important. Besides my theory is that if a teacher or administrator is forced to curse a student out. Certainly for such a person to engage in that behavior is out of line, however, I have also figured that these young people (or my generation since high school was the first time I saw this) can't be reached without a few choice vulgar words.

Honestly I hate to think this way, but some of these children have probably had parents or adults whom did nothing but curse at them. Cursing is rightfully vocabulary that are nothing more than big spoken exclamation points! When they're uttered the ideal reaction is probably shock. You know something is wrong here.

In my generation when a teacher uses such words, my peers laughed.Sometimes even I laughed, even though I knew something was wrong with that picture. One day I said that my music teacher cursing wasn't funny, but was blown off by a fellow student of mine who later became our class president. It really wasn't funny, but it was easy to join in with the crowd who thought it hilarious.

My theory is that some of our young people can't be reached with "polite suggestion" as I call it. That is talking to them calmly, firmly, and respectfully. As opposed to talking like they're in the streets and make another person afraid of their lives. It's unfortunate, but how do you communicate with these students when an authority figure doesn't have the ability to reach their young charges.

That being said there are a lot of issues involved in running a school system. In addition to keeping command of a classroom, we now have to worry about what the students are doing outside of the classroom. Now we have to find ways to keep them safe.

What can we do about this?

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