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Help Save our Youth and Communities

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Almost on a daily occurrence all over the Inland Empire we get reports of some student incident that involve racial assault, rape, bodily assault or firearms with the threat of use.

Elected officials, staff, parents and the community must take the time to discuss these matters and put a plan in place to help minimize this unhealthy trend prior to a major disaster taking place.

In San Bernardino a girl of mixed race was walking home from school minding her own business when she was attacked, robbed and sexually assaulted. In Bloomington a girl was offered a ride home by two boys who attend her school. Instead of taking her home they decided to take her to Rialto, had her perform sex acts on them, raped her at gunpoint, and then dropped her off at a park in Fontana. They told her they would hurt her and her family if she told authorities.

I cite these two occurrences only because they happened recently. However this is happening everyday in Riverside and San Bernardino Counties. I know the various school districts have their hands full just trying to teach our kids and in some instances some districts are at least talking about these kinds of issues. I want to suggest that the county schools take the lead and convene a symposium to address these racial and sexual assault issues head on.

Everyone can benefit from a plan that will involve everyone in the community. We need to create a plan that includes: students, parents, school board members, city council members, mayors, business owners (large and small), media, police officers, probation officers, district attorneys, judges, music store owners, labor unions, teachers, colleges, universities, clergy and students.

They can collect the data and provide real examples for us to examine and explore. After all of the ideas are taken and recorded we must start a community-wide outreach to educate every citizen on what they can do to reduce such incidents in the future. We must also put in place a timetable of having repeat sessions to educate the community. The written information could be distributed by all who have contact with the public such as media, realtors, doctors, lawyers, barbers, beauticians, chambers of commerce. This is just a partial list of businesses and people we can use to get the word out.

During my twelve year tenure on the San Bernardino School Board of Education we rarely saw these types of violent incidents on or near our campuses. They occurred, but not as frequently or geographically widespread. These physical and sexual assaults by children on children appear to have escalated.

Years ago, other districts did not have the diversity that we experienced in San Bernardino. Our message to other districts was that they need to be concerned about the issues that diversity brings. They needed to be prepared by using additional resources and funding to address issues other than teaching reading, writing, and arithmetic.

If we can turn this problem around I’m sure it will assist us in reducing our dropout rate and increase our graduation and college going rates. We must do everything within our grasp to turn this tidal wave of anti-social behavior that is destroying our youth into something much more positive. If you have suggestions, we’d love to hear from you. Please email me at hardybrown@blackvoicenews.com .

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