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Strong Father Figures Can Help Decrease School Violence

by Todd A. Smith

 

School Violence Shows Need for Strong Father Figures

            School violence has reached a breaking point.  Some parents even fear sending their children to any school, public or private, for fear they will meet violence head on, instead of tackling the curriculum head on.

            On Sept. 4, Luis Alonzo Alfaro, 17, allegedly stabbed Joshua Broussard, 17, to death during a fight at Spring High School in Spring, Texas.

            Some critics of our violent culture blame the media, school system, video games, and peer pressure for the increase in violence.  However, children can overcome all of the negative influences they are bombarded with on a daily basis with one remedy, strong father figures in the home and the community at large.

            This generation of children is not the first generation to be exposed to gratuitous violence and sex and substandard schools, but the one thing that is missing, especially in the African American community, is that strong family structure that we took for granted years ago.

            Nowadays, it seems that having children out of wedlock is celebrated, and children growing up without fathers are the norm. 

Unfortunately, if that is the norm, deaths in schools like at Spring High School will become more of the norm until we change what we view as normal.

            According to the book Kingdom Man by Tony Evans, “roughly 70 percent of all prisoners come from fatherless homes.  Approximately 80 percent of all rapists come from fatherless homes…Fatherless homes produce 71 percent of all high school dropouts and 63 percent of all teen suicides.”

            Those numbers are alarming and the results of the statistics affect everyone in the community at-large.

            There was a time, especially in the African American community, when you had more than two parents.  All of the parents in the community were your de facto parents and you had to answer to them when you got out of line.

            As our society became more tolerant of everything from sex, violence and having children out of wedlock, we lost some of our strength and resolve.

            Boys began growing up without a father teaching them how to become a man, and girls grew up without an example of what a real man looked like and acted like. 

As a result, this generation is suffering because they lack the guidance it takes to mature into a productive and successful adult.

            Negative influences will always be out there to entice our children, but if a positive (male) role model is in that child’s life on a daily basis, they will know how to distinguish between positive and negative, and therefore make better choices in life.

            Two decades ago I walked the halls of a Houston high school and was exposed to real violence and entertainment violence. 

            However, I had a father to guide me in the right direction.  I listened to violent music and enjoyed violent movies and video games, but I knew that was entertainment and not my reality.

            If children do not have that strong father figure in their life by the time the school system gets them, it is probably too late to correct those destructive habits.  Therefore, the molding of that child has to begin much sooner.

            Like many, I am not a father but I try to speak to the younger generation as much as possible to show them what type of life you can have when you make good decisions and what can happen if you travel down the wrong road.

            I urge all Black men to reach out and become a father figure in your community, church and within your own extended family. 

Our children’s future depends on you because all they need is that one person and that one conversation that can possibly lead them to a productive life and not an early death.  Step up to the plate men and help our children reclaim their royalty!

This article was published on Friday 13 September, 2013.
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