We agree with the condemnation by Mayor Tom Barrett and Milwaukee Public Schools Superintendent Gregory Thornton of recent fights between students at James Madison Academic Campus and Washington High School that led to arrests and possible criminal charges.
The behavior of a few students is totally unacceptable and cannot be tolerated in our public schools, where the focus should and must be on learning and achievement.
We second the statement by the mayor that “all of us, in particular parents, family members, MPS (and may we add the community as a whole) must be loud and clear in stating that there is no tolerance for the behavior exhibited…” by the students at the two aforementioned schools.
The violence at the schools and on Milwaukee County buses in recent months, coupled with last week’s shooting death of a teen male by a teen female over drugs last week is more proof that our community–and some of its youth–are self-destructing at a sickingly exhilarated pace.
Our children–who are our future–are being lost or allowing themselves to get caught-up in negative clutches of the street culture that many of them emulate, denied or denying themselves the opportunity at life and freedom to pursue the “American Dream,” despite the fact “the dream” has been challenged by forces at all levels of government and corporate greed, determined to stifle the pursuit of happiness.
Thankfully, there are youth in our community who, like us, see the community and their peers sinking in the quicksand of violence, self-hate and imprisonment and are trying to pull them out of the morass.
Last weekend youth leaders, public officials, along with concerned teens and adults, met at Silver Spring Neighborhood Center to communicate and work towards solutions that would stop the violence that is destroying our community.
We hope MPS will reach out to these youths and the organizations they represent–along with city officials–and work together to develop and implement solutions that allow for dreams to become a reality we can all benefit from.