Someone very close to me shared some disturbing news today. His Daughter, and only child, was assaulted at school by an older kid. For whatever reason, she was hit in the face with a book; She had to leave school with swelling and a black eye. When I asked Joe, who ive know since childhood, Where is your daughter now…? His reply, upset me more than the incident itself. She was at school. It was the following day.
“They have testing today” he said reluctantly, probably noticing my outrage.
I don’t know if my outrage is justified. But, all of think of was, ‘what if it were my daughter?’ I’d probably sue.
The last time I had such a strong empathetic response was upon hearing of the tragic death of Anita Joyner-Francis earlier this year. It was one those twitter hashtags that briefly flashed across our collective conciseness. She was only 16. Beaten to death in the girls bathroom just before the days classes were to begin.
When my friend and I were in high school, the threat of violence was constantly looming. On a daily basis, you could hear reports of fist fights, beat-downs, and even the occasional stabbing. I’ll admit that, as a quiet introvert, I was pretty good at avoiding conflict. But my friend Joe seemed to find trouble wherever it may be…at least once, fighting to defend me from a bully. Hey, it is what it is. Boys will be boys. But these are girls. And there is a very disturbing culture rising within the public school system that, I believe is intrinsic to the hatred of young women. As for what exactly the cause is, I’ll let you fill in the blank on that…The effects? 1 in 4 violent episodes are perpetrated by teenage girls.Click here for more info. And not just in cities, it’s all over the country. When young girls choose to assert themselves in this way, the results can be devastating. As you can see in the picture on the right, this incident was captured by another girls cellphone. In fact, this murder was recorded on multiple phones.
I sometimes wonder, what if I had a cellphone when I was 15? Would I have been engaging with social media the way teens today are? Would I become so preoccupied with self promotion and attention seeking? There is no way for me say for sure. I could only hope not. When I was 15, I had no clue that my school teachers,councilors, and Principals were not only responsible for my education during school hours; but also my safety. Our public school system seems to be failing across the board.
Yes, the parents are primarily responsible for their childs education. Tell that to my friend Joe. His daughter is one of the best behaved kids you could meet. But, good behavior does not procure admittance into private school. It certainly does not spare you the indignities of public school. And schooling at home is not feasible because of work. Meanwhile, many of the children our kids see every day, don’t have much direction in their lives at all. Minor incidents happen in even the best school districts. I understand that too, I’m just saying when I send my daughter to school, she better come home in one piece.