A news blurb several weeks ago concerned Englewood STEM High School. Just after 3:30 p.m., a huge fight broke out involving around 200 students. Fourteen CPD squad cars were sent to the scene and five people were later arrested.
Where is the outcry/response from the parents of those children who attend that school offering their solution to a problem that should not be? I don’t want to hear another word about, “crossing gang territory” as we are almost 23 years into the 21st century, and tolerating gangs in an era of global competition puts our children even further down at the bottom of the educational barrel.
School is not a fashion show, nor is it a social media meet up. One of my favorite quotes is from the genius Albert Einstein who said, “Education is not the learning of facts, but the training of the mind to think.” We need, more than ever, young people who can think. But those children also need a safe environment where they can think and not worry about their safety. Our children suffer because the adults who should create the proper environment for them to get an education are MIA.
A STEM school specializes in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics. Those are the four areas of knowledge that our young people need in order to be productive members going into the future. The importance of those young kids learning to think and be creative and successful is paramount. We need doctors, lawyers, scientists, and computer specialists, etc. We don’t need another criminal thug who is a future candidate for the prison industrial complex.
A similar situation occurred at a high school in Shreveport, Louisiana. One father took action and got 40 other fathers to volunteer and create a group called Dads on Duty. Guess what? Once the men showed up, the fighting pretty much stopped. The Dads are there to show the kids that someone cares. And considering that far too many Black children come from fatherless homes, the men’s presence is an additional plus. We need something similar here in Chicago.
Fixing the violence problem is not going to be an easy task. Every time another young rapper is killed, our children are exposed to violence. Violence is on some young people’s plate for breakfast, lunch and dinner. They can get 24/7 access to it via the internet and websites like Worldstar, which glorifies it. Rap music, especially the Drill music genre, promotes it with lyrics that glorify putting someone to death.
Black people fought for the right of our children to get an education — not for Black children fighting each other when they should be getting an education.