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School Violence: How The Community Can Help Our Schools – Clemenbit
Thu. Mar 23rd, 2023

Rick travels by his neighborhood schools everyday without giving them a second thought. He is 30 years old and has two children ages three and one. He is not concerned about the schools’ atmosphere now because it does not affect himself or his family. He is a manager in the accounting department of a large fortune 500 company and he believes he is on the way up the corporate ladder.

Mary lives down the street from Rick and she leaves home at 6:00 in the morning to go to work. She works in a factory at a local plastics firm. Her children have already graduated from the local schools. Mary, of course, still pays for the schools through her real estate taxes.

Marlene’s situation is quite different from Mary’s. She owns a
flower shop and works from 10:00 a.m. to 6:30 in the evening. She is not home when her middle school children come home from school.

The local schools these three individuals send, sent or will send their children are like any other school. They have excellent teachers and some not so excellent ones. The students are surrounded by bullying, exclusion from cliques, fights, disrespect for teachers, and drug use. This describes any school in America. Parents are busy blaming the schools while the schools are blaming the parents. Unfortunately, the truth is the problem of school violence and bullying will never improve until parents, students, school staff and the community work together.

How can the community become involved when individuals are busy working or they do not have children in the schools? Why should the community even get involved? What can Rick, Mary, and Marlene do to make a difference?

Why we need Community involvement

It isn’t at all surprising to learn that bullies who are identified by age eight are six times more likely to be convicted of a crime by the age 24 than non-bullies. Crime affects all of us. If we can control the bullying, we may see a correlation to a reduction in crime. In many areas, crime is out of control. The police need and request our help, but many of us do not want to become involved. This same attitude is in our schools and it must change. It is time for bystanders to become involved.

If students are allowed to bully in school and get away with it,
then they carry that entitlement onto the public streets. Soon they will go on to be workplace bullies. A power imbalance is sure to happen later in life with other relationships beside employment such as dating violence, racial harassment, child abuse, and spousal abuse.

Why is this important to us if we do not have children currently in the schools? All of our children and grandchildren are or will be going through school system and then onto the workforce. This will affect them whether they end up with a bully as a boss, interacting with a classroom bully or have a relationship with the bully. Today one out of every three is affected by domestic violence. These are excellent reasons why we as adults must get involved.

Ways for the community to become involved

It will take being proactive instead of being reactive to increase the number of community members that would be willing to become involved with the local schools. As a society we need to realize that it is easier to help enrich the kids if we are willing to help enrich their families. Whether it is Rick, Mary, Marlene or anyone else, we must not be afraid of becoming involved. The “I don’t want get involved” attitude that society has must stop. Here are a few ways corporations, small businesses, and individuals can help:

1. They can sponsor programs and speakers. These programs need to be made available for families on parenting, conflict resolution, anger management, literacy skills, English skills, communication skills, or computer skills. Many parents who need these skills will never show up for the program and this a shame. For those who do show up, it is an incredible opportunity to change their family’s direction.

2. Provide part time jobs, summer, after school, and weekend only jobs. Even if it is only one job, it can make a big difference in student’s life. We can start an internship program with local companies, including the health care field, this way we provide a positive experience for the student. For the student who has a vision of what is possible this will have a positive impact on there behavior in school. Those who believe they’re not going on to college or able to achieve high-level jobs will act up more in classrooms.

3. Sponsoring before and after school programs in sports and academics is a necessity. Most students get into trouble between 3:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m. This is when we need to keep them off the street. Some ideas would include offering sports, tutoring, technical support for students, and after school literacy programs. After school clubs of any sort will place students together with others who have their same interests.

4. Have principal of the day programs. This will help local business
connect with both the schools and the students much better. If businesses feel a connection to the school they are more likely to support school activities.

5. Tutoring from employees. Imagine if corporations could grant two
hours per week for an employee to go to the school and tutor someone in the library. This can be extremely beneficial to a student who is struggling.

6. Retraining the teachers. Offer classes on teacher education and
classroom management. Bring in senior teachers, retired teachers, or teacher educators to share their knowledge. Experience is a great teacher and we need to share it.

7. Offer free legal services for teachers and all school employees. Over
active lawyers, the ACLU, and their clients threaten to sue the schools all the time. These teachers and administrators need help in defending the most stupid lawsuits. No teacher should have to worry about being sued for giving a failing grade. Free legal help will help teachers avoid what is termed defensive teaching.

8. Community volunteers can read to younger students. Just like the tutoring this can give the students another positive adult in their life. Volunteer to come into the classroom, or before and after school time to help.

9. Start a mentoring program with local college students. The college students can tutor, give advice about finances, college life, studying or they can just be there to listen. The rewards of this measure can be huge.

10. If you’re a stay-at-home parent and there is a bus stop by your
house, please watch the students. If a student is being picked on or
misbehaving then write down what they’re wearing and contact the school. This way someone can meet the bus as it arrives.

The bottom line is we need the parents, students, staff, and the community to be on the same page and to be working together. Too often we are working against ourselves and the current results show this. The epidemic known as school violence and bullying will not disappear but it can be greatly reduced by working together and becoming involved.

By rahul