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Clergy’s calling: Calm Chaney

Published: Sat, November 20, 2010 @ 12:10 a.m.

By Denise Dick



The city school district is calling on those close to a higher power for help in restoring calm at Chaney High School.

Earlier this week, police used pepper spray to break up two fights at the school within 35 minutes.

The Rev. Lewis W. Macklin II of Holy Trinity Missionary Baptist Church said Superintendent Wendy Webb asked him to enlist the help of area pastors.

“She’s being proactive,” the Rev. Mr. Macklin said.

He sent an e-mail to fellow pastors Thursday, asking for assistance.

“The presence of clergy as community leaders has been requested to restore a calming presence at Chaney High School for the next several days,” Mr. Macklin wrote.

He said the partnership between the city schools and area clergy has existed for a long time, and this isn’t the first time clergy have gone into the schools. Some go weekly.

“We’re not there to proselytize or to bring people to our churches,” Mr. Macklin said. “We’re just there to provide a calming presence.”

The clergy aren’t there to replace administrators or to dole out discipline, he said.

Webb said the problem Tuesday occurred after a random weapons check at the school. The checks, which occur regularly, involve metal detectors set up at school entrances.

“It wasn’t as tight as it could have been,” she said.

Administrators at Chaney are new this year, the superintendent said.

When dealing with students, school personnel have to make sure there aren’t too many students in the hall at a time and to be on the lookout for problems.

Changes have been implemented to try to reduce the possibility of a similar occurrence, Webb said.

The pastors talk to the students and encourage them. Many of the students attend their churches and have a rapport with them.

With the pastors there, the students are more apt to display behavior their parents would want to see, Mr. Macklin said.

“It does not supplant building leaders and administrators,” the pastor said. “It’s just an additional presence, extra eyes.”

John T. Allen, district ombudsmen, agreed.

“Basically it’s just additional support and someone who is a part of the community that the students are a part of,” he said.

Assistant administrators from other schools have been assisting at Chaney since Tuesday’s fights, he said. Things have quieted down.

The pastors are asked to help in the schools from either 8 a.m. to noon or 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. through Tuesday. “We figure it will be a nice overlap with the lunch hour to be there just to support staff,” Mr. Macklin said.

Some students may respond differently when dealing with a member of the clergy than when it’s someone from school, he said.

“Part of it may be because it’s someone from outside the classroom, outside of the school,” Mr. Macklin said. “Some of it might be also respecting the calling, who we represent.”


1Stan(9923 comments)posted 4 years, 8 months ago

"Webb said the problem Tuesday occurred after a random weapons check at the school. The checks, which occur regularly, involve metal detectors set up at school entrances."

Bringing your gun and or knife to school is an inherant right . Who are we to abridge their rights ? We must be more sensitive to their needs . It is now 2010 and the culture has advanced at a dizzy pace . This is a new era in a scope unimaginable just a mere few years ago .

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2palbubba(709 comments)posted 4 years, 8 months ago

In actuality, Wendy Webb said, we didn't do our job properly so we'd like the area pastors to bail us out. We pay Wendy for this? Do you really wonder why the Youngstown scool district is the worst in the state? It all starts at the top.

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3Photoman(1071 comments)posted 4 years, 8 months ago

Any effort to improve conditions must be applauded, however, it is the lack of a decent home life that starts this viscious cycle. Maybe the church groups should start by going door to door and working with parents. After all, these parents are the ones who will soon be seeing their children in a really calm atmosphere---the funeral home, unless they make some dramatic changes in their lives and the lives of their children.

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4sickntired(13 comments)posted 4 years, 8 months ago

@ cowboykickin wow im a cowgirl from the north and a 95 graduate, this has always been a problem and it wasnt the northside, east or south children it was some of the students there but that was neglected to be reported.

personally im not a wendy web fan she is garbage sorry people..

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5sickntired(13 comments)posted 4 years, 8 months ago

but the calling on spiritual leaders are good plus macklin is a social worker as well so its a dual benefit for having him come into the schools

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6Tony1(53 comments)posted 4 years, 8 months ago

@cowboykickin,your lucky no one has picked up on the name you called these,students.You are a RACIST.

All of the Youngstown schools are out of control.I don't see them getting any better until the parents,get their acts together.

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7southsidedave(5076 comments)posted 4 years, 8 months ago

To cowboykickin:

What would be accomplished by opening another school, your comment makes no sense.

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8sickntired(13 comments)posted 4 years, 8 months ago

@ tony1 i caught it

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