To hear, we must listen. And so it was on April 20, 1999, at a scheduled town hall meeting on Safe and Disciplined Schools, I heard an anonymous Caldwell High School student say…
“I think it’s funny how people can come to meetings and complain, but do you actually see them stepping in and doing something about it?”
Will we ever listen to them — parents, students, teachers, and caring citizens?
“Will we hear the call of others?
Adults across our country continue to struggle to be taken seriously on the issues surrounding safe and disciplined schools. As Pedro Noguera put it in his book “City Schools and the American Dream: Reclaiming the Promise of Public Education,” …
‘if we truly seek to create a different future, one that is more peaceful and nonviolent than the present, we must actively go about creating it’ (2003, 141)…
As Katherine C. says, we must ‘do rather than talk’ (The Crucial Voice of the People, Past and Present, pg. 9).”
We must stop racing towards the goals that policies set for us! Instead, leaders must stop talking at us. We all have to start listening and learning from our own past, from our own people. We need to stop wasting our money, our time, and our precious human resources.
People, please ask yourselves; do we have the courage to face the facts, face our own mistakes?
Perfecting our union starts with improving our own quality of thought. It starts with each new generation. That makes it a societal obligation to improve our schools. It starts with safety and discipline — it starts with our devotion to education and our belief that we can do better. As a Virginia Tech survivor (Colin Goddard) said…
“There has to be a way to change the culture of violence in our society.”
If you are listening, what do you hear?
I hear solutions.
I taught in a very Republican state. With an Eighth grade class as an English teacher i asked students to clap slowly every 3 seconds. As they did everytime we clapped i asked one to sit down. As we finished i told them that was how often a child was dying of hunger and disease in this world. i was called to principals office for making the kids “sad” about things they couldnt help. It was not my place to teach empathy.
There are so many responses that came rushing into my head when I read your comment….simply and sincerely….thank you. And how typically pathetic your principals was. … and the perfect example of why it is things haven’t improved in America, the “we can’t” attitude. … Now, that is a terrible thing to teach. Shame on the oppressor. And thank you again for your attempt to teach empathy. Without empathy, the bullying that so many complain about will go on…but I think so will we who care. 🙂
Have a wonderful day!