The average child spends more time at school each day than they do with their families, shifting the influence impact in many ways more towards the leaders and mentors in the school. With the decreasing support of public education, especially the retention of quality and seasoned educators, students in school are often times left with inadequately prepared and/or supported teachers who are not always ready, willing, and able to add this influential role and duty to their already overfilled workload. While education has waxed and waned over the years to reach out to and invite various types of families and promote varying sorts of education (religious, highly academic, morally supportive, etc.) both parents and schools have failed on many fronts to provide a proper structure of the basic needs of children, the most important of which is the safety of the environment. Furthermore, with the rise of school shootings since the 1960s, the massacre at Columbine High School in Colorado set fourth a new onset and mentality of our youth that stepped out beyond depression and suicide where the wounds inflicted were directed towards self, to one we see so often today where random innocent bystanders are made targets and their lives ended along with that of the individual carrying out the shooting. These shootings have been going on for decades now and nothing we have done as a nation has done anything real to close this gap, reversing the trends and the data so to speak, and make our schools truly safe and not just safer. Political leaders have also failed to recognize the seriousness of this problem, as they continue to debate and argue on the best solution to solving this problem, often times choosing to collaborate a loud voice around guns being the source of the problem. Nonetheless, very little has been done to stop or even slow down the problem which is why we are investing a strong and dedicated effort to change the course.
The intent of our effort is to develop various models that can produce empirical data to show our vision will not only work, but that we can and will be able to sustain the effort over time, as the effort as a whole has been designed in such a way that focuses on finding innovative ways of winning over the hearts of communities that our models and our leadership efforts are intended to support. Schools have very limited budgets with regards to this work we are willing to bring to them, but they are more than interested in what we are offering them in support. From the conversations we have had with numerous school leaders, they need two essential items to help make this happen: 1) financial support 2) community/family support. While the community/family support will vary from person to person, and family to family, we strongly feel from our conversations with school administrative leaders that there are enough families and members of the community who will support our efforts simply because parents want answers, action, and results that will ensure their children’s safety at school. Our goal is to help this effort by seeking out funding support from foundations who annually donate to non-profits for causes like the one we are trying to carry out. We already have several schools in place and ready to work even more with us on the security aspects mentioned above (with the school culture and climate piece, and the physical school security model concept) as well as working with us to reshape the leadership role that school athletics can play in contributing to this cultural shift to help make the climate of any and all schools positive for all students, and not just the select few, the elite, or those who have more resources from home.
The specific goals we will be working towards in the area of “Schools” include the following:
1) Advanced security measures for all students and staff that will create a truly safe school environment, and not just one that is safer
2) Training for school administration and staff (school safety training as well as training designed to help change the school culture to identify and support those struggling with and feeling isolated, alone, and/or bullied) as research conducted by the FBI has shown this has been a common denominator with the majority of school shooters in the US
3) Training for students, student athletes, and coaches that is designed specifically to encourage “functional and positive team dynamics” and not self-centeredness. This effort will also focus on first reducing and then eliminating bullying and the seeds that start the process of encouraging it, as current efforts in public schools have failed to produce the necessary results to help youth
4) Training and seminars for parents to attend and be a part of in a community-style effort to channel more support (time and talent as well as financial resources) for students. This effort will be conducted in a variety of forms and will remain “open and flexible” with regards to approaches and implementation, as the needs and norms of clients most likely will be different with each client and community
5) Consulting services to School Districts and/or their respective schools in a collaborative effort with the District and school(s) on how to package and deliver changes the district and schools see are most needed to ensure a more positive and inclusive school culture for all students and staff. School focus and priority will be in the following order: Elementary, Middle School, and High School
Services We Provide Our Clients
School Safety & Security Modeling and Planning
Positive and Cohesive School Climate Development
Leadership Evaluation, Training, & Team Building
Community Partnerships (Planning, Development, & Implementation)
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Modeling Positive Leadership For Youth