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Wednesday, April 2, 2008

These Kids These Days- Chicago's Lost Ones-Murderous Third Graders and High School Drop Outs

Folks in Chicago are rallying today. 20 school children have been killed by gun violence this year. I mean I remember when a boy in our class was killed when some gang members hit him in the head with a 40 oz, I can't imagine 20 deaths in a single year.

Twenty desks -- enough to fill a classroom -- sat empty in a downtown plaza Tuesday, each bearing a pair of sneakers and representing a Chicago Public Schools student killed by gunfire this school year.

Several hundred more sat empty in city schools, as busloads of teens skipped classes to attend a gun-control rally -- their absences sanctioned by the district, whose CEO says he's angry that too many students talk about "if" they grow up, instead of "when."

"This doesn't happen in other countries," Arne Duncan said. "We just value our right to bear arms more than we value our children, and our priorities are fundamentally backwards."

Associated Press.
With all due respect. I am sorry, this ain't a purely gun violence issue to me. Sure guns make it easier, but it ignores the fact that in many rural parts of the nation the every single person in the house has a gun- including the toddlers. You would be surprised by how many suburban homes have ARSENALS in them or the number of lawyers and doctors with guns. Yet you don't hear stories of massive numbers of individual killings of school students via gun violence. To blame the guns without doing an additional examination of the culture of violence does not go far enough, but I can understand the need to blame something and it is easier to blame the gun vs. the shooters.

I can assure you that in other countries, like Rwanda, they managed to kill plenty of folks with machetes. Sure guns take a human life in a split second, but I think it is deeper than that. A fundamental disregard for human life. Aggression and violence in children. I think contributed to by the culture, but also I think a response to growing up in an environment where they just don't feel safe, physically, mentally, financially, emotionally and I point directly at the destruction of family in this country.

It isn't that Mama and Daddy aren't marrying their kids, but they also aren't married or committed to their children and it goes beyond the parents, but the loss of the safety net of the extended family as well. You can take away all the bullets in the world, but if you are growing up seeing mama get beat up, or not knowing where the next meal is coming from or bombarded by the message that opulence equals worthiness and you have to get rich or die trying, I can expect one of the responses might be to make sure that that victim hood and abject poverty never happens to you. By any means necessary. Some people work their butts off to get out of the hood through education, military service or just moving away. Other people, increasingly more young people are making another choice, including a life of illicit crime and arming themselves to the tee with whatever you can get your hands on a gun, a machete, or in the case of some third graders in Georgia, a paperweight and a steak knife ...

Murderous Third Graders
This week, you've probably heard the story of the third-graders in Georgia who hatched a well organized plot to harm / kill their teacher. Including brining a steak knife, handcuffs, duct tape and a paper weight to school. According to police and school officials, they planned to distract the teacher, knock her out with the paper weight and then stab her with the steak knife.

The irony is that these are supposed to be special education students, but their planning mimic the precision of a covert military operation with division of duties and everything else. now imagine if we put them to work finding alternative energy sources so we don't have to pay $4 for gas this summer.

The purported target is a veteran educator who teaches third-grade students with learning disabilities, including attention deficit disorder, delayed development and hyperactivity, friends and parents said.

The scheme involved a division of roles, Tanner said. One child's job was to cover windows so no one could see outside, he said. Another was supposed to clean up after the attack.

"We're not sure at this point in the investigation how many of the students actually knew the intent was to hurt the teacher," Tanner said. CNN.COM

Whew I am officially OLD because let me say it. I thought I would never say it, but I have to say it "These kids these days...." Cloe your eyes and imagine 20 years from now. Classes full of "special education" students because the schools want every unruly child on ritalin. Everybody has ADHD and the teachers will all be teaching from behind a bullet proof desk. If I ever do have kids I got two words for you "Home School." Why the heck not?

Ridiculous High School Drop Out Rates
Did you see the study yesterday talking about the high school drop out rate in major cities? In Detroit, home of Kwame "Textual Healing" Kilpatrick, they only graduate about 24% of their high school students. It is bad in other places as well. Read the full report.

High school is clearly obsolete in the city of Detroit if only 25% of its students are availing themselves of the traditional school structure. So what would be a relevant education to the 75% that throw up the deuce? I don't know, but I would rather have them in a job training program to teach them a skill than to leave them with nothing.

Let me just offer this word of advice. If you live in a city that had a 75% high school drop out rate....MOVE. MOVE like yesterday. Because how exactly are these folks supposed to feed cloth and shelter themselves working at jobs that don't require a high school diploma? So if they can't earn a living "honestly" I would say many of them will eventually have to A) rely on the taxpayers to care for them or B) rely on the tax payers to care for them. Now group A) will receive subsidies and other forms of assistance legally. Group B) will be subsidizing themselves with your property while you are at work or worse, taking directly from you as you go to and from work with involuntary withdrawals of your assets.

Education isn't just about money however, its about a functioning society of people with some modicum of critical thinking skills. People who can think for themselves and not fall victim to whatever silver tongued hustler gets in their ear. Its about having enough education to take care of your health and mental well being and the health and well being of your children and community. Its about competing with the rest of the world. I ain't talking about formal education either. Wow, here we are.

Brown vs. Board of What???
The first post- Brown vs. Board of Education generation and it appears we were a noble, yet short lived experiment. Did they imagine back then when Thurgood Marshall and his legal team were writing all those briefs and making all of those arguments that we would ELECT not to avail ourselves of a free public education? Who would have thought that a generation later, you would need National Guardsman, not to protect Black kids from angry White folks who didn't want to let them go to school, but from flying bullets from guns fired by their own people in many cases.

Some folks are rolling over in their graves...rotisserie style.