Final school bells mark official killing season opener

By |
John W. Fountain III.

The final school bell will ring.

The choir of children and teens will scream and spill onto the streets. Many of them will be laughing and saying their goodbyes.

The teachers will tell some students how proud of them they are, while they will be glad to see the problem students become another teacher’s headache.

Graduating eighth-graders will look forward to freshman year at various high schools across the city.

Guest speakers at these graduations will speak of promise and dreams, of hope and hard work.

Parents will waste money on lavish gifts, limousines, party buses and expensive celebrations.

But they may fail to mention that some of these celebrations and goodbyes will be final.

Class of 2012, I would like to welcome you to the Chicago summer of 2012.

Nobody wishes ill, but there is an inevitable danger that accompanies above 80-degree temperatures. If Memorial Day weekend was any hint of how the rest of the summer is going to go, it’s time for parents, teachers and community leaders to be real with these kids.

In that single weekend, 40 people were shot and 10 were killed.

All the praying by local preachers or pastors will not stop the violence. While I am not discouraging any attempts to deter crime, the internalization of poverty is just as powerful.

I used to be naive in thinking if someone just made better decisions, worked hard and committed themselves to a specific dream, they could beat the demons of the ghetto.

I used to feed into the hype that hope was all you needed. And while some may slip through the cracks and become successful, way too many will fail.

Truth is, some future college student will walk into a college classroom and realize they were a product of an inferior education system. And if they are not dedicated enough, they will get discouraged and may drop out.

I am done ignoring what is staring me directly in the face. And maybe we all should.

Truth is, some of your children already display signs of sociopaths. Instead of just ignoring it, how about some form of intervention?

The way I see it, some preachers couldn’t do anything else but preach: Twenty members in one building, where seven more storefront churches sit on the same block, doesn’t constitute a congregation. It takes away tax dollars from the Chicago Public Schools because those no property taxes are collected from those buildings.

Some parents could use an entire school year dedicated to parenting alone. Sending your kids to a certain local inpatient psychiatric facility for babysitting doesn’t cut it.

It seems like we are saying that we owe criminals second chances. We talk about financing programs for ex-offenders, but non-offenders are having it just as rough.

I will reiterate that cops need to be out walking the beat.

As much of an impact that CeaseFire has it is still a program that uses reformed gangbangers to settle disputes.

More street fairs and community centers need to establish to cut down on boredom or lack of employment.

If the class of 2012 will have any chance of surviving this bloody, senseless summer, we need to address the issue of how much we facilitate the problem.

One thought on “Final school bells mark official killing season opener

  1. John, I could not agree more with everything you have written, but sadly there are just too many people with their head so deep in the sand to even humor the truths you point out. The elephants filling the room seem to be invisible to most people. The violence will not stop, because most parents in communities such as Austin refuse to believe that they are the cause of their children’s failures and behavior. They are content with saying that society is at fault, without looking in the mirror. They believe that as long as god is in their lives, things will be alright… but things will not be alright, because people keep getting killed, and will continue to get killed.

    All the marches, the outcries, the T-shirts with prints of the fallen, are nothing more than symbolic gestures. They will do nothing to change the deeply embedded culture of entitlement, delusion, criminal action and misplaced anger than haunts these communities.

    I’ve met too many single mothers in my years as a teacher, abandon the needs of their children for more nights of partying… and then these parents wonder why their baby angels turn into people that commit horrific acts of violence, and people the finger at everyone else but themselves. The fathers that abandon these mothers and children are no better, or a whole lot worse.

    I agree with parenting classes for the parents, but I’d recommend more than 1 year. I’d also recommend a mass amount of therapy sessions for the majority of people in the community. There is too much acceptance for the way things are, and life will always be this violent in the city as long as people retain the same level of complacency as they have now.

    Too many people are way to wrapped up in the symbolic gesture of things like graduations, making it to college… without realizing that once the have graduated, begin college classes, they have to begin the real hard work, many of which are not prepared for.

    I don’t think it’s purely an educational issue, but also the lack of work ethic, intellectual curiousity, comprehension…

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