SHREVEPORT, LA – After a group of concerned fathers came together in response to violence at a Shreveport, Louisiana, high school, that high school has seen no incidents of violence, and the fathers have seen a warm reception from students.
According to CBS News, in September 2021, Southwood High School was home to several violent interactions. Fights were so severe that 23 students were arrested over a period of three days, and many others were suspended or expelled.
Although such violence might be enough to convince many parents to throw their hands up in despair, a group of fathers instead saw an opportunity to offer a solution.
High school parent Michael LaFitte decided to create Dads on Duty, a group of motivated fathers who have come together to be a parental presence at Southwood.
LaFitte told CBS:
“We’re dads. We decided the best people who can take care of our kids are who? Are us!”
The BNC reports that:
“Ultimately, the group’s mission is to create a positive environment and … solve physical altercations and encourage learning among the students.”
After 23 students were arrested in 3 days at a Louisiana high school over fights, a group of fathers created Dads on Duty: 40 dads who take shifts at the school.
There hasn't been a single incident at the school since the dads showed uphttps://t.co/1SxjnXdsRs
— philip lewis (@Phil_Lewis_) October 23, 2021
Dads on Duty member Tracy Harris also told the BNC that the group was formed as an alternative to an increased police presence at the school.
“They [Dads on Duty founders] came up with a thing, well, who can better control and police our own children than us?”
“The initial thing was to make sure that parents were the ones that take care of our kids instead of having police and sheriffs.”
Harris went on to describe how the fathers work in shifts, arriving first thing in the morning, with many staying through the morning hours. Others arrive at lunchtime for a shift or remain after school hours, “to make sure everything goes smoothly throughout the day.”
CBS reports that since Dads on Duty began taking shifts at Southwood, there have been zero incidents of fighting.
CBS video, embedded below, shows these fathers, wearing matching “Dads on Duty” t-shirts, joking and interacting with students as they pass in the hall.
These positive interactions have received praise from students at the school, especially as “Dad jokes” reportedly run rampant as students pass by these fathers.
One student told CBS:
“They just make funny jokes, like oh, hey, you’re shoe’s untied, but it’s really not untied.”
At the same time, the fathers can have a no-nonsense presence, which students indicated keeps them in line.
Referring to stern glances from the fathers, one student suggested to CBS that student behavior was related to the dads’ interactions, saying:
“Have you ever heard of ‘a look’?”
Regarding the dads’ interactions with students, Harris told the BNC:
“You probably have the presence of a little bit of sternness, but not so much. We like to make them have fun, make school, make life enjoyable, because you never know what they came from … the night before, or getting off the bus. You never know what happened.
“So when they see us, instead of us standing around, or somebody looking around, mean-mugging them, we welcome them. We shake their hands, what’s up, how was your day, good morning, have a great day, get your breakfast, get to class on time.
“We give all kinds of positive affirmations to the kids so that they can have a comfortable learning environment.”
Dads on Duty showed up to deliver the perfect mix of tough love and gentle ribbing that dads do so well. In the process they transformed Southwood High in Shreveport, LA.
"The school has just been happy — and you can feel it," a student said. #DadsOnDuty pic.twitter.com/DN1YZnjY4N
— Isiah Whitlock Jr. (@IsiahWhitlockJr) October 23, 2021
One student commented on how safe he feels with Dads on Duty on the scene, saying:
“I immediately felt a form of safety.”
Another praised the behavior of his fellow students after Dads on Duty formed, saying:
“We stopped fighting, people started going to class.”
The mood of the school has even been affected, with one student telling CBS:
“The school has really just been, like, happy, and you can feel it.”
Here’s what dads can do for their sons—when they act like dads. Inspiring!https://t.co/G3hXCjdAvl
— Dinesh D'Souza (@DineshDSouza) October 25, 2021
Harris told the BNC that he thinks the success of the program lies mostly in the presence of “Dad energy.”
“I think kids are- when they see Dad, they know it’s something serious.
“But we try our best to not make it look like you’re in trouble. We’re not the ‘you’re in trouble’ dads.
“We come to bring peace, a little stability, just the overall being there makes a big difference, and how the kids interact with us….
“The kids are very receptive of us being there.”
Harris also made it clear to the BNC that Dads on Duty are “not authorized” to intervene physically with the students.
“We’re not allowed to put our hands on [the students] at all.
“They have several security officers there.”
The members of Dads on Duty plan to be a presence at Southwood “indefinitely.”
They also want to start Dads on Duty chapters in other areas of Louisiana, and ultimately, throughout the United States.
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School resource officer uses body to shield student after chaotic fight breaks out in a high school
Originally published September 28, 2021
CHESTERFIELD, VA- A video has been released showcasing a school resource officer (SRO) using his own body as a shield to protect a student from punches during a chaotic brawl that broke out at Meadowbrook High School on September 23rd.
According to reports, the fight happened in the afternoon when a large number of students engaged in a savage brawl in one of the school’s hallways. A few staff members, including an SRO, attempted to end the chaos, but were heavily outnumbered by the students fighting.
In a Facebook post, Chesterfield County Police Chief Col. Jeffrey S. Katz stated that Anthony Brown, the SRO, “used his body to shield a young man from a mob attacking a student.”
Katz added that the officer was “struck several times in the process.”
“Reasonable people can disagree about the role of officers in school, however, only an unreasonable person can make the argument that students are safer in school when officers are removed from assignments where they can build relationships with the youth in our community and come to the aid of others when threatened with violence.”
The chief commended the SRO by saying:
“This officer conducted himself bravely, selflessly, and without regard for his own well-being. That’s how our people are expected to perform and with rare exception, that’s how we conduct business.
We are human and we often work within challenging conditions, under great stress, and with incomplete information. We don’t claim to be perfect, but our hearts are virtuous and our mission is noble.”
“I’m proud of this officer, thankful for his service, and want to make it known exactly why I remain committed to ensuring our children remain safe within their learning environments. Thank you, Anthony.”
On Friday, Chesterfield Police stated that they have identified at least 13 teens that were involved with the fight. It took around 20 police officers to break up the fight and even more responded to the incident. https://t.co/LNYzYf5Nop
— 8News WRIC Richmond (@8NEWS) September 24, 2021
The school was placed on lockdown, as the fight was so chaotic and according to reports, eight to 1o students were detained after the madness. The cause of the fight remains unknown.
The fight led to a heavy police presence due to rumors of weapons being used. Police later confirmed that no weapons were used during the chaotic fight. Police also stated that no one was injured or arrested, despite rumors of that as well.
After the incident, Marcie Terry, principal of Meadowbrook High School sent an email to the families of students. Terry wrote:
“I want to share with you that we are working with Chesterfield Police to investigate the circumstances that led to an altercation among students to which staff and police responded. The school went on lockdown while additional Chesterfield Police came to the school to assist.”
“I sincerely appreciate that the great majority of our students were not involved, but we are very concerned about those students who engaged in the altercation. Not only did this disrupt the instructional setting and dismissal, but there are serious consequences for those who may have been involved.”
“As you talk with your child, please let school administration and Chesterfield Police know of any additional information that may be important. Thank you for your continued partnership to keep our school a safe and supportive learning environment.”
Three cheers for this heroic @CCPDVa School Resource Officer! This is what law enforcement officers do every day. https://t.co/jwBvQ26Yt5
— Jeff Katz (@jeffkatzshow) September 27, 2021
In his post, Katz made a point to not show the video to protect the students’ identities and to not glorify the violence that took place.
Instead, he highlighted the importance of police presence in schools to keep children safe within their learning environments.
Editor note: In 2020, we saw a nationwide push to “defund the police”. While we all stood here shaking our heads wondering if these people were serious… they cut billions of dollars in funding for police officers. And as a result, crime has skyrocketed – all while the same politicians who said “you don’t need guns, the government will protect you” continued their attacks on both our police officers and our Second Amendment rights.
And that’s exactly why we’re launching this national crowdfunding campaign as part of our efforts to help “re-fund the police”.
For those looking for a quick link to get in the fight and support the cause, click here.
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