Monday, December 24, 2012

Another Tragedy in our Schools!!!

By: Barry Brown

I personally had to wait and let some time past before I could write about what happened in Newtown, Connecticut. It is another tragedy that has rocked our nation, and it is truly sad.

From my experience in education and formerly working at a school on a daily basis, this truly unfortunate incident has made me look back on some of the situations I was in during a school day, and I thank God for keeping me safe along with the other staff members and students at the school. We experienced 10 students fighting at one time, drive by shootings, unauthorized visitors, confiscating drugs and weapons from students and the list goes on in reference to the dangerous situations that arose on almost a daily basis.

When you look at a school, you automatically want to believe it is a safe place to be, and in most cases, a school is a relatively safe environment. However, a few things have changed over the years that have changed the dynamics of school and what actually takes place at school in this day and age. One of the most powerful things that has been taken out of schools is Prayer. Is there anything Spiritual covering over our public schools today? The other interesting piece that is missing in the majority of our public schools is adapting to the times. We are in 2013!!! The majority of the schools that I have visited over the years are still teaching the way they taught in the 50's & the 60's, and of course we don't have those type of students anymore. As of matter of fact, a lot of parents introduce their children to adults by using the adults first name (that's not good). You see, we don't necessarily have "Leave It To Beaver," yes sir and yes ma'am children anymore. Society has changed tremendously and our education system has to change with it!!! The safety of the staff and students has to be first and foremost because how can teaching and learning take place if no one feels safe in the so-called learning environment? There are a lot of parents that are not sending their children to school to learn, the children are basically coming to school to be babysitted and then the parents assume the school is going to teach the child everything that the child is supposed to know ... manners, life skills, etc. It's an amazing idea, let me as a parent not prepare my child for school in no form or fashion, and then send my child to school and expect the school personnel to teach my child how to do everything. Wow!!!

I remember and actually still have the proposals that my co-worker and I submitted to several Superintendents of the school system that we were working in at the time. We actually met with those Superintendents to present and discuss our proposals of increased security and school-education based community outreach, and each time, nothing materialized. What we have seen is the continuous decay of a lot of our public schools across the country because no one (including myself) has truly attempted to breakdown the status quo. It is time to take a stand. A new model for operating schools must be created to work hand-in-hand with what is going on in our overall society for us to see a significant difference. ---

Let's spend the money on more security at our schools. One Police (Resource) Officer is usually not enough to stop any attack. With the overwhelming influence of violent video games, movies, music, reality tv, social media, the internet in general, etc.; the parents and children of today are faced with far greater challenges then parents and young people of just 10 - 20 years ago.

We definitely have to look at mental illness and how we address it across the board because we have a lot of adults and youth alike that are suffering in silence, and when they hit the point of no return, it can be a terrible situation not only for themselves, but for others too.

I am staying optimistic because I have tremendous FAITH in GOD, and I believe that we are going to close the gap on mental illnesses and troubled souls so that incidents like what happened at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, CT will not happen on a daily, weekly, monthly or even yearly basis. These type incidents need to be significantly rare in occurrence.

My Prayers and Love are with the families of the victims and the entire town of  Newtown, CT. May God Bless you and keep you!!!

Happy Holidays to All!!! 

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