Click to go to for Parent Involvement and Child Advocacy Information

Join the PTA Reader Panel-share opinions, ideas and comments. Contact us

Connect to PTA through a wide variety of online social networks:

Follow PTA on Twitter! Browse PTA's Photo Gallery on Fotki! Get the latest PTA News and Video Wrap-Ups on YouTube! Become a 
 Fan of PTA on Facebook!

Check out the latest edition of Our Children

Our Children Magazine

Calendar of Events

Monday, November 02, 2009

Why Are Our Children Violent Against Each Other?

Why is it that week after week we see news stories highlighting acts of violence by young people against young people? Not too long ago we were saddened by the unnecessary death of a young man in Chicago who was simply in the wrong place at the wrong time. Now the story is about a gang rape of a young lady attending her school Homecoming Dance. When is enough, enough?

When I was a student I had one simple household rule to live by, “get in trouble at school and get the punishment two fold when you get home”. Today, when a student breaks the rules parents often say, “I know my child did something wrong, but . . .”

My friends, it’s time to throw “but” out the door! When a child, of any age, leaves home for school the parents’ responsibility does not end. Our schools have been established to educate and provide our children with the tools they need to succeed, not be the full time parent when the students walk through the door.

When a student is beaten to death with a board as others video the crime, something’s wrong! When a young lady is raped by 4 thugs while as many as 20 others watch, something’s wrong! When students are bringing guns, drugs and knives to school, something’s wrong!

What’s wrong? Many will say “it’s today’s way of life”. Many will say “there’s nothing we can do”. Many will say “it’s not my kid so who cares”. To me, none of these comments are acceptable. Parents need to be the responsible party. Parents need to show their children the respect and discipline we knew as students not too many years ago. Parents need to be parents! Parents need to be engaged!

We live in a less than perfect world. Like many of you I have four children, two older and two younger. Being a parent is a full time 24/7 adventure; but what we’re seeing today in so many places is going to lead to much greater problems… for all of our families. PTA is here to help secure a safe and healthy life for all children, but we can’t do it all; we need parents to get engaged.

For more information on how you can get involved in keeping our schools safe, visit
Until next time,
Chuck Saylors, National PTA President


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mr. Saylors:

Keep the dregs out of school and school scores will rise exponentially. Keep disruptive youths out of school and not only do you get rid of their bad scores, but the scores of other kids will rise because the teaching process will not be constantly interrupted.

The schools need to be tougher on the kids and not get into the blame-game with parents. Undoubtedly, it's usually the parents' fault. But it doesn't matter who is to blame. There should be a zero tolerance policy for gangs, weapons, drugs and threatening teachers. There should be a three-strike policy for being disrespectful, wearing pants below the hips and cursing. Kids that are disruptive, violent or who use school as a place to deal drugs or recruit for their gangs should NOT be in school. They have broken the social compact and we no longer owe them anything.

Some do-gooder will probably ask what will become of these kids if they're not in school. Well, the answer is probably nothing good. BUT SCHOOLS ARE SUPPOSED TO BE PLACES WHERE KIDS CAN GO TO LEARN WITHOUT BEING FEARFUL. That is job one and in many cases schools have utterly failed. I urge teachers and school administrators to be educators to their best abilities and to stop trying to be social workers.

Yes, there will be problems to be dealt with down the road, but it is NOT within our schools' purview to worry about those problems. Our schools' only job is to educate our children.

Jim C.
South San Francisco, CA

November 3, 2009 2:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Kindly fix the typo in your first paragraph. It should be "school's", not "schools".

You have chosen to be part of the education community by your participation in PTA. Please set a good example for the children by proofreading your work prior to submission.

November 3, 2009 2:36 PM  
Anonymous Pat M said...

@Anonymous... Hello? Did you at least get the sentiment of what was written? Are you here to proofread or do you have an opinion? I am a stay-at-home Mom and have been VERY active in PTA for the last 15 years. I have been involved in the unit and council levels and I have met many intelligent well-spoken people who may not have the best grammar, but who are responsible for great things! Oh my goodness, Jim C's post just made an eloquent plea for all of us to try to make our schools a safer place so that our children can learn and all you got out of it was that he misplaced an apostrophe... You really are part of the problem!!

Having said that, I liked Chuck's BLOG. In my own school, I have heard of students not only witnessing fights, but videoing them so that they can post it on their "social" network. All the while, other students stood around and watched... Where does such violence and apathy come from?

We live in a different world than when we were children. We live in a world where there is no "village" to watch our children. We live in a world where children are allowed to raise themselves and when given the alternative of reading a book or watching a violent TV show, the latter is chosen. We live in a world where children mimic the gangs and the gang behavior that they are exposed to on TV and in video games. We live in a world where parents are afraid to let their kids play outside for fear of violence and kidnapping. We live in a world where children are fat because there are no after school activities for children to participate in and the food that is available to them in school or at home is high in fat and low in nutrients. We live in a world where dress codes are seen as restrictive to one's expression, but children are not taught appropriate dress for appropriate occasions. We live in a world where teaching character has been eliminated in the schools as parents have complained that it is the job of the parents to teach character. So, children are learning character from TV. Parents could save money for their baby at babies r us with an awesome babies r us coupon printable.

I could go on and on, but the bottom line is that changes NEED to be made. If parents choose to have children, they should make children their priority. They should work with the school and PTA to make sure that our children are being educated and not just allowed to raise themselves. The government needs to make children and education a priority. They are truly the "future" and if that isn't embraced, we're looking at a bleak future! And lastly, schools shouldn't be afraid of change. They should work with families and the community to fully educate our children. They should be less concerned about their union negotiations over hours and days worked etc and more concerned with the type of people they're developing.

So, anonyous, I'm sure there are gramatical errors in my "comment" and if you feel so inclined, point them out, but I think this is more a forum of ideas and not one of grammar...

November 3, 2009 3:31 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

@ Pat M: My comment wasn't directed at Jim's post, which I thought was very good. It was directed at Chuck. As head of the PTA, he should set an example for children, parents and teachers by checking his work before posting it.

I was trying to be helpful, as I'm sure it would be an embarrassment to him and he would like as few people as possible to see the typo. I thought my request was respectful; if it didn't come across as such, I apologize.

BTW, I liked your POV too. But next time, please be more careful about attacking someone. Thanks.

November 3, 2009 3:58 PM  
Anonymous Pat M said...

@Anonymous: I'm sorry for the error. The second line should have given me a clue, but I thought in writing on this type of "Board", Jim C was representing himself as the part of the "education community by your participation in PTA" you were writing about. I've been on these types of "Boards" many times and they often get sidetracked by detours into grammar etc... I think people should come with a POV and discuss it so that real discovery/learning can occur...
Again, sorry!

November 3, 2009 5:58 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I really believe the problem has to do with class, race, gender, etc. I think all schools should convert to uniforms so everyone could at least appear to be equals. In todays tough times many parents are not able or willing to teach their kids, because they are to busy doing other things or trying to be their kids best friend instead of parent.

The fact that teachers are also buying into this horrible Pop Culture trend, is even more disturbing.

As far as the error, WHO CARES! This is also another problem, we are so focused on the minor issues; making them mountains, that we forget about the point of the discussion. I talk to my children, I am very active at school, actually just finished a fundraiser with music cds using The Power of Good Network Inc., and raised $750 for the Band in 1 weekend, however I know all parents can not do that. I have a neighbor that can not pay the bills, so how can I expect them to help at the school? Also believe me this also affect their children.

November 6, 2009 12:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I do believe it is important for parents to educate children that being a bully is not necessary. My son was being bullied on the bus and the school acted like it was just my problem. He does good in school and doesn't fight. Some parents are so busy trying to make ends meet it is hard to get involved with everything when kids have homework, religion, and other responsibilities.

November 12, 2009 6:33 PM  
Anonymous ben hamilton said...

At risk of being late to comment on violence by the young I have this to say. Although anonymous had good intentions correcting a grammar error the topic was violence among teens. Many replies addressed the grammar error with little comment about the topic.

This is a serious topic the needs addressed at many levels not only in the schools. This world we live in today is a far cry from the one I grew up in fifties where even an occasional fistfight between the boys was uncommon. Violence is everywhere around us today in this new world I refer to as the plugged in generation. A world that publicizes terrorists blowing up civilians, drug gangs and wars with civil unrest around the world is on the news daily. We have blood and gore on the TV, our computer games and in the movies. Our children are so plugged into these modern forms of communication it is next to impossible to bar them from it. This will not change unfortunately because violence and sex sell advertisement.

The only power we have is in the homes with our children. They must be taught the correct way to live out their lives. Whether through religion or just plain common sense the parents are the primary teachers of children. It is their responsibility to guide our youth through the treacherous path of life that surrounds us. This is much harder to do today where both parents are working to make ends met, where a TV in every room has replaced the babysitter, where laptops, I-pods and picture taking cell phones have replaced board games and puzzles. The parents must make the time to reach their children teaching the same values their parents and grandparents used to raise them. Truth, respect for others and their properties, and honor were the basic values we were taught.

The PTA has many resources for parents to serf to help understand the negative influences facing the youth today. It is up to the parents to access these sites and this data to communicate with their in their children. Let us use this never before seen communication to our advantage rather than be victim of its negative aspects.

I live in a third world country and have started the first PTA in Tanzania. I have to agree with anonymous in that schools uniforms are one way to equalize the fashion trends of today. All the students from nursery through university levels wear uniforms in Tanzania. It is an old school idea that works. Perhaps we have to look again at some of positive sides of twenty century education that we have dropped in the name of progress.
Ben Hamilton

December 11, 2009 1:37 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

School Board Wants to Replace the Term "American Citizen" with "Global Citizen" in History Books

New York City, NY – This weekend Mathew D. Staver, Founder and Chairman of Liberty Counsel and Dean of Liberty University School of Law, appeared on Mike Huckabee's show to discuss potentially dramatic changes to the framework of textbooks that are being discussed by the Texas State Board of Education (TSBOE). Huckabee and Staver revealed suggested changes, some of which are still under discussion. TSBOE will soon finalize the language that textbook publishers use to align their textbooks to current standards. As Texas is a leader in textbooks, most other states purchase the same educational materials.
Some of the suggestions that have come forward at various times include:
Removing references to Daniel Boone, General George Patton, Nathan Hale, Columbus Day, and Christmas.
Including the cultural impact of hip hop music, ACLU lawyer Clarence Darrow, and the Hindu holiday of Diwali.
Replacing the term "American" with "Global Citizen"– stating that students need to be shaped "for responsible citizenship in a global society" without any mention of citizenship in American society.
Replacing expansionism and free enterprise with imperialism and capitalism.
Cynthia Dunbar, an elected member of the TSBOE and Assistant Professor at Liberty University School of Law, stated “James Madison warned us that when error is allowed to become steeped in precedent it leads to tyranny. If an erroneous view of our American heritage is allowed to stand, that view will be even more entrenched when we revisit this issue again in 10 years. Since the board consists of only 15 members, the decision of eight individuals may determine what goes into textbooks on a national level; it is crucial that the voices of patriotic Americans be heard.”
The Board's next meeting is in March and the final reading and adoption of the social studies guidelines will be in May. Make your voice heard now, before the next meeting. Please call the board at 512-463-9734 and encourage them to promote traditional, pro-American language in their guidelines, or you may email them at

Mathew Staver commented: “To have a bright future we must know our past. Those who want to reshape America begin by rewriting our past. We repeat the mistakes of the past when we are ignorant of them. America has a rich past founded on Judeo-Christian values. To forget them, or worse, to distort them, will doom our future. That is why the textbook controversy in Texas affects every American.”

February 8, 2010 8:27 AM  

Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home