1999-07-10 / Columnists

From The G-Man

Proposals For A Better World
by Gary G. Toms


Hey people! With all of the chaos within the system, I came up with some proposals that you might find interesting. I call it "The ‘G’ Plan", and first of all...

It Starts With Respect

If a student strikes a teacher, a child is using drugs or bad language, it is because the child has not been taught to have respect for themselves or others. This fault does not lie with the school. It lies within the home. Parents have to take an active role in the installment of morals and/or principles in a child’s life. Anything less should not be tolerated. Lay down the rules, and if they are not abided by, the parents MUST do what is necessary to dictate authority.

Teach Them About Their Heritage

How many times have you traveled on public transportation or walked down the street in your neighborhood and heard 7 or 8 year old kids say the word nigger? It’s disgusting, and it’s not just the kids that are doing it sometimes. If they knew the history of what that word symbolized, they would never let it fall from their lips. Again, parents have to monitor all things within their child’s world, and their language and friends’ language should be no exception. Moreover, the schools can play a huge part here by simply changing the curriculum to reflect a more culture friendly relationship to the student. Something as simple as having a "Friday Feature", where kids could see such films as "Sounder", "To Sir with Love", "Roots" and a host of others, could have a major impact on how they view themselves and the world. (Yes, there are some positive forms of media!)

Teach Courses Based on Career Curriculum

Students are dropping out of school, elementary and high school, because they are bored. They are not interested in many of the courses being offered. Besides the basics, courses such as Police Science, Pre-Med., Preliminary Law and Military Introduction ought to be considered as viable options for children and/or students. Allow them to have input on determining their own career, and they will be more inclined to view the future more positively.

Maintain The Arts Programs

Violence, bad language and disrespect are the result of a person not being able to properly express what they feel. Nothing allows the ability for this to manifest more than the arts. Painting, dance, music, the martial arts and others offer the student the chance to develop, or nurture positive talents; which in turn will formulate a positive attitude.

The Three Strikes Program

In recognition of the fact that there are some students that do not wish to be "reached" and insist on being disruptive to the education process, this program addresses that dilemma. It would consist of the following:

Strike One

The student is given the opportunity to illustrate that they can perform at the educational level which is expected by the school administrators. In other words, a respectable grade average must be maintained and certain considerations should be evaluated with regard to student performance. If the student meets the necessary requirements, and still exhibits disruptive tendencies, along with violent behavior, then further action is needed. (3-4 year)

Strike Two

This involves a type of "boot-camp" facility, but all of the requirements to meet graduation standards can be obtained here as well. Moreover, the day is longer here as well as the school year. Regulations are strictly enforced. The students would be allowed to go home once the day ends, but they are to report on time the next school day. If they get into any type of trouble while outside of the facility, all privileges are lost and they are sent through the final stage. (3-4 year maximum requirement)

Strike Three

After showing a blatant disrespect for the education process, its administrators and students, along with the refusal to abide by the terms of the agreement previously set forth, the student must spend a minimum of 2 years in prison. Note: This consequence comes as a result of repeated attempts, by both the immediate family and school administration, to re-direct the student which ended unsuccessfully. Also, students under the age of 16 are not subject to such action. Those students would be placed in a disciplinary facility until the educational standards are met. (3-4 maximum requirement)

These proposals are not perfect, but it’s a point to start from. In the end, maybe the kids, and our schools, could be saved.

Much love, and I’ll see you next week.

 

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