What is happening to Juneau, our schools, our neighborhoods? Are our children acting out what they hear and see at home and on television?
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Recently and also back in November 2006, my son came home from school struggling with his emotions of indignation, anger, frustration, fear, etc. He was threatened verbally and physically by several high school students as he walked home from middle school. This abuse was not something he called upon himself. My son conducts himself in a respectful and caring manner.
I was born and reared in Juneau. I was taught by my parents that all human beings are born equal. My family moved to the California Bay Area during my junior year in high school. I didn't fit in my new school due to my race and for other reasons. The dominant race, popular crowds and gangs had all the power. Because of this, I chose to move back to Juneau. I also chose to start my family here so they could grow up in a community and attend schools where they could be treated with respect.
I stopped chaperoning students at the school bus stop when the youngest of my three children no longer needed to be transported to school. Due to recent threats and acts of violence in and out of school, the safety of all children depends on the school grounds and outlying areas being patrolled by police, parents and other volunteers. Students should be able to go to school without experiencing physical and emotional harm. Just as important, parents need to speak with their children and remind them that acts of violence will put them on a path that will have long-term consequences, such as suspension from school, incarceration or worse.