Dads in schools… great safety system… #watchdogs
Every day our kids go into an uncertain world. A mom and grandmother asked me about safety. In her neighborhood, the kids in the local elementary do not go out to play. Not at home. Not at school. Recent gang shootings have put fear into their hearts and minds at an extremely young age. This was before the most recent Newtown incident. This is in the Bible Belt… Oklahoma City.
Two years ago, I worked with an alternative school. A pizza delivery man had been shot and killed by some of the students. It was a gang initiation. A test of stupidity guised as a test of courage. Many students were involved. All knew about it, which put them at risk of retribution from the gang. Some had been the perpetrators. We are talking 16 and 17 year old students, not wizened criminals. Since the criminals were picked up at school, it gave the implication that the teachers were the “rats”. Yes, these were criminals, not victims. They decided to tempt, setup, and murder an innocent man. That level of evil is not normal or the product of a misguided society. It is the product of living in a lack of moral standards in the streets, homes, state house, chambers, and pulpits of the USA. Yet, it is still a choice. Only a few did it. Others living in the same circumstance choose differently.
The situation caused fear in the teachers. So for a few weeks, I met with the teachers and let them de-stress. One quit. I don’t think she ever went back to teaching. A local business, Hobby Lobby, became involved and supplied some added security in the halls and some onsite tutoring from employees. A local community based group, Character First, became involved and brought teacher resources into the hallways. They put presence of stability in the school.
There must be visible presence of stability in our hallways of schools, market, gas station, neighborhoods. It must have a standard. The Ten Commandments will never change a community. Even in Judaism, they had to add books upon books of explanation and smaller standards. But active, concerned, morally committed men living as fathers to home and community can change a national direction. Love God. Love your neighbor. Love yourself. Let others watch.
Read Moses’ outline of sensibility in Deuteronomy 6. Fathers, walk the streets with principles on your foreheads. Make it visible. Make it plain. What is the standard? Respect life. Respect property. Live honest. Work hard. Give out of your extra. Open doors for others. Study your trade. Be a craftsman with pride in product. Serve. Stay at the job until it is done. Men living these lessons in a visible manner can do more for our nation that 20 million plaques and 50 million laws. Laws just tell you when you do it wrong. They don’t tell you when you do it right. People know wrong. They have forgotten right.
So I hope I made someone angry. I hope I made you angry enough to call a local elementary school and ask if they have a WatchDog program. And then I hope I made you angry enough to call the National Center and get connected. And then, I hope I made you angry enough to change your television watching schedule and study how to help. And then, I hope I made you angry enough to go talk to some other men and start small to build big.
Do something great. Be a WatchDog. Stand on the wall and be seen. Some eight year old needs an example to which he/she can look up.