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Future of Chaney High School is in hands of the stakeholders

Published: Tue, January 11, 2011 @ 12:00 a.m.

Of all the comments made last week during meetings about student discipline problems at Chaney High School in Youngstown, this one from a parent struck us as indicative of the challenges confronting Superintendent Connie Hathorn and the other stakeholders:

“How are you going to teach if you’re afraid of students?” parent Dawacia Muldrow asked rhetorically. But Muldrow, who has a son in the senior class, wasn’t sympathizing with the teachers at Chaney. Rather, she was making the point that she sees a problem with teachers who are afraid.

Let’s get something straight: The faculty and staff at the West Side high school aren’t a bunch of scaredy-cats. They just know that a goodly number of students are from the rough streets of the city where there is little sense of right and wrong and where violence is a way of life.

Just drive through the inner city neighborhoods and it will become clear that teachers aren’t dealing with a bunch of youngsters who are just having some harmless fun. There is no respect for the law, and even less for the teachers and others in authority.

So, if Muldrow wants the fear factor to be eliminated, she and other parents and guardians should develop a strategy to reassure those in charge that students who disrupt classes will be dealt with harshly, and that punishment meted out to the young thugs will not result in retaliation — either on or off campus.

Superintendent Hathorn hosted the meetings last week in response to what he termed “a deteriorating teaching and learning environment that has been compromised by an increase in fights, verbal and written threats, gang influence, bullying connected to past acts of school violence, and trespassing on school property to purposely attack another student.”

That is the definition of a war zone, and the only way to end the violence is to get rid of the perpetrators.

No moral bearings

These aren’t choir boys and girls; they are young people who have no moral bearings.

The parents and guardians have to accept ultimate responsibility for what is going on at Chaney High School, which is why we fully support the superintendent’s decision to organize them into a team with the task of finding solutions to the problems.

The principal, the dean of students, other administrators and teachers can be as tough as possible in dealing with the disruptive elements, but if they don’t have the support of the community, nothing will be accomplished.

A teacher isn’t going to confront some student who has the look of the street about him. But, having other adults in the classroom as backup would certainly change the dynamic. The same is true of having adults walking the hallways, being assigned to cafeteria duty and patrolling the grounds. The district cannot afford to pay for all the security that is needed to take back the school from the scofflaws.

If parents and guardians want Chaney to be a true center of learning, they will offer to become directly involved on a daily basis on campus.


1georgejeanie(1541 comments)posted 5 years, 6 months ago

Forget it it is too late.

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2piak(508 comments)posted 5 years, 6 months ago

"...young people who have no moral bearings."

That is the long and the short of the matter. Just after WWI, a group of expatriates moved to Paris; they were known a "The Lost Generation". That description aptly fits the kids at Chaney today. Well, not all kids, but likely most of them.

Those kids are the "collateral damage" of the culture war that has raged since the 1960's. Down through the years, the mantra has been, "if it feels good, do it".
Most recently, it's been "just do it!"

The only way it will get better is if we try to rescue the few who want to escape the fate of those who are content to meet it. This means changing the cultural values of this country. Everybody has their ideas on which values are necessary. Certainly some consensus can be arrived at on those values. But will the determination to implement the agreed on values be there?

That is the jackpot question.

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3mrblue(1175 comments)posted 5 years, 6 months ago

If the parents don't care about their childs education then all is lost. Today you have parents who think that school is nothing more than a babysitting service. These people have no future so their kids are doomed. They Just Don't Care.

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4georgebatten(3 comments)posted 5 years, 6 months ago

There is hope. I have a discipline plan and system that works. Schools can be safe and controlled. Parents can, safely, help a school become productive and high performing. Please read my blog to understand why our schools suffer and are low performing. Good schools are just a few paradigms changes of thinking and one effective discipline plan away.

Go to (www.schooldisciplinemadeeasy.com)

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5VINDYAK(1824 comments)posted 5 years, 6 months ago

As I am sure ysucowgirl will agree, we allow the few bad ones to spoil the dance for the entire group because society does not want to be responsible for stepping in, they want someone else to do it. And when someone else does try to do it, society complains about unfair justice. You can't have it both ways Youngstown. To do it right you have to step on some people's toes, but that's life if you want to live the life that crime promotes.

Unfortunately for all of us and especially for Chaney, the public will find an easier way and that is to move to a different school district if they can. Not only will this leave a larger populace of criminal students vs. good students, but it will also encourage more exodus. This has been happening over and over again, but we continue to apply the same reasoning, hoping for a better outcome that will never happen.

Are we now nearing the screening process used at airport terminals in order to "admit" a student into school? Background checks? Identification cards? Phone numbers? E-mail addresses? Body scans? 2 hour waiting line?

We want to be known as a free country based upon Democracy, but more and more everyday, we are becoming a Socialist country because of how others around us act and live...and I don't like it...neither do you...so what are we going to do about it?

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6Chickdom2012(1 comment)posted 5 years, 6 months ago

as a honors student that attends Chaney.. it's not that bad... it's a little ghetto but what do you expect?? considerin all the things happin outside of the school(i live on the southside) chaney is ok. no morals?? some of us do have morals and i have faileed to find someone who doesn't think about what they do.. makin Chaney a prison is doin nothing but makin students rebel more...

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