2002-11-30 / Editorial/Opinion

Use Celebs To Address School Violence

Use Celebs To Address School Violence

With violence erupting throughout the New York City school system, many within the Department of Education are scratching their heads over how to best handle the situation. Discussions are underway to find solutions to the problem, but it would probably be a good idea to start from the most basic premise. You must look at the one thing that many of today’s kids have in common, and then you must find a creative way of utilizing it in order to convey your anti-violence message. That being said, the Department of Education should take part in outreach efforts to get entertainers from film, sports, and music to go into the schools and stress the importance of education and to denounce violence. There is no doubt that the entertainment industry has a profound impact on the kids of today, and an anti-violence message has much more power behind it coming from New York Yankees and Mets players, Chris Rock, Naz, Jay-Z, Eminem and Erika Badu. The old school methods do not apply today because we are dealing with a new breed of youth, who are angrier and more violent than in previous years. Many, but not all, do not respect figures of authority. However, they do bond with those they feel they can relate to. To stop the violence, you must get to the core of their world and attack the problem from there. You may find many causes for the violent outbursts while exploring the depths of these kids, but once you latch on to the one thing that they love, respect and admire, that is the first step in reaching them. Now is the time for the DOE to consider a partnership with Hollywood and the music industry. It’s time for drastic measures, and having Robin Williams, Venus and Serena Williams, or rap star Eve visit many of the classrooms in New York City would be better than the systems that are currently in place to deal with violence.

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