Wednesday, October 10, 2007

This doesn't seem "calm, orderly or focused"

Today my youngest daughter was threatened at school by one black male and three black females based on how she dressed and the friends she has at school. One of these friends was beaten with a belt and a shoe by some of the same group threatening her. The victim was suspended, not those who attacked him. Today in Cleveland, another Ohio City an hour and a half from here, this happened:
Coon "came out of the bathroom and bumped Mike and he (Mike) punched him in his face. Mike started walking.

Focus on that for a second without knowing what came next. This is at a school that according to:
John Zitzner, founder and president of E City Cleveland, a nonprofit group aimed at teaching business skills to inner-city teens. "It's orderly, it's disciplined, it's calm, it's focused."

A student of the school bumps into someone and is punched in the face, which given the student who was punched was currently suspended for fighting, it seems it would be known there were some problems. Then there is this about the same student:
"He's crazy. He threatened to blow up our school. He threatened to stab everybody," Doneisha LeVert said. "We didn't think nothing of it."

And:
Student Frances Henderson, 14, said she often got into arguments with Coon, who once told her, "I got something for you all." He was a "gothic" who usually wore a trench coat, black boots and a dog collar, she said.

Officials said he was wearing a black Marilyn Manson concert shirt, black jeans and black-painted finger nails.

You have a student with known problems who made threats who was obviously not liked by his peers with the outcome:
A 14-year-old suspended student, dressed in black, opened fire in his downtown high school Wednesday, wounding four people as terrified schoolmates hid in closets and bathrooms and huddled under laboratory desks. He then killed himself.

My daughter's school doesn't have metal detectors, which this school had but didn't use regularly, when these school systems and parents finally learn to start being more proactive when it comes to dealing with children who send out clear warning signs will be when these school shootings stop happening.

I'll do what I can to do to protect my daughter, but I can't prevent her from being the next victim as long as school systems and parents allow children to be ostracized, bullied, abused to the point where they strike back the only way they seem to have been taught how to react - with violence. The cycle of violence needs to be broken...

2 comments:

Holly said...

I'm so sorry you and A are going through this! I think the thing that blows me away about TPS and it's bullies is that they keep saying they have this "Zero tolerance policy", yet you and I both know that even though they may have such a policy, they certainly don't back it up! I understand bullies are a part of life, but our children shouldn't have to feel unsupported in their schools, and the time to put an end to it is NOW!

Steve said...

Lisa,

I am so sorry to hear about your daughter being bullied like that. As a teacher, I know many times our hands are tied, but rest assured, someone is responsible and I would imagine it goes all the way up to your governing board. Another reason it is hard for me to comment is that I am in a very rural school setting, and so there may not be any way i can compare your school's situation to mine.

All my best,
Steve