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Welcome To David

Role Model Schools Pt. 2

Re: Role Model Schools

TOWARDS ESTABLISHING A SAFER SOCIETY, here after referred to as “TESS,” is a non profit charitable corporation incorporated in February, 1989. Its purpose is to promote and establish programs of crime prevention which could cost less than one tenth of the cost of building Institutions to house and support the delinquent and compensate victims of crime.

TESS desires to work with the school board, principal and the local area school organization of one of your area’s major high schools to convert it into a role model school or Life Enhancement Center (LEC).

We request this opportunity because we believe many students cannot function well in the classroom because they are sick, hungry, troubled and/or depressed, as determined by a recent study, “Turning Point: Preparing American Youth for the 21st Century,” prepared by the Carnegie Council on Adolescent Development, Task Force on Education of Young Adolescents, June, 1989, as reported in “Junior Highs in U.S. Get Failing Grade, Detroit News, Monday, June 19, 1989, p. IA. This research shows that 50% of adolescents are vulnerable to moderate to high risk behavior and lack access to health care and counseling. And the Bureau of Substance Abuse, Detroit Health Department, shows that in 1985 54% of teenagers were involved in drug and/or alcohol use and 3,792 youths between the ages of 10 and 16 had contact with the Detroit Police Department for violent and non-violent behavior.

Many of our young people do not have adequate role models and experience daily frustration and deprivation. Since many of them experience much failure which brings about feelings of anger, bitterness, anxiety and despair, it Is very hard for them to form the internal representations that will foster success and make positive decisions regarding their life choices, with the outlook that they can obtain any positive life choice they wish if they do not concern themselves with failure and are willing to devote the time and energy it takes to accomplish their goals. This is why many of them need counseling, either on a one to one basis or on the team approach, wherein the team members, like the one on one counselor, can become role models, mentors, provide tutoring, give family support, assist in job placement, skill training, and locate needed housing. Rehabilitation of the addict and others, especially of the complete family unit where needed, could take place, since additional assistance in the areas of mental health, drug and alcohol addiction and child abuse may be necessary. In this manner we sincerely believe that many will not be overwhelmed and disoriented by a world of alluring, exciting uses of liberty and experiment with drugs or be Involved with drug trafficking, which are attractive in the short run but are ultimately destructive of self and community.

A role model school or Life Enhancement Center is further premised upon accountability of students, teachers, school administrators and parents. For the student, accountability means dedication to learning for oneself and other students. For the teacher, school administrator, parent, citizen at large and government official, it means recognition that all children have a right to attend a school safe from abusive persons and situations, especially drug traffickers, bullies, and name callers. It further means that the teacher has the right and duty to keep order in the classroom by reporting disruptive drug and alcohol users and addicts, drug traffickers and others, to conduct reasonable searches of students and their property without the need of obtaining a search warrant (based upon reasonable grounds for suspecting that the search will turn up evidence that the student has violated or is violating either the law or the rule of the school) as supported by New Jersey v T.L:O. (1985), 469 US 325,83 L Ed 2d 720, 105 S Ct 733, and to have access to those who could assist In keeping order In the classroom, such as counselors and if deemed necessary by the teacher, security guards, to maintain an environment In which learning can take place.

Weapons detectors could be provided at entrances to the schools, and dogs could be used to detect drugs. This, we feel, is necessary, so children are not abused, especially not subject to the abuse of exposure to harmful drugs which can kill them, which exposure is obviously one of the worst forms of child abuse. Furthermore, this is necessary to prevent the burnout of teachers, which bur flout has resulted in the desire of 700,000 teachers nationwide to abandon their work environment because of their lack of authority and/or responsibility to resolve conflicts.

Even In schools that have been spared the most severe
disciplinary problems, the preservation of order and a proper
educational environment requires close supervision of school
children, as well as the enforcement of rules against conduct
that would be perfectly permissible if undertaken by an adult.
Events calling for discipline are frequent occurrences and
sometimes require immediate, effective action. U. S. Supreme
Court, Ibid.

In addition, support of the business community could be solicited to assure it of trained and competent employees. The support of non-profit organizations, such as the Detroit Compact, Metropolitan Detroit Youth Foundation and the Youth Assistance Program could also be solicited. The American Red Cross, Retired Senior Volunteer Program, Volunteer Action Center, local area school organizations and other organizations could be solicited for volunteers. Children and adults could be fed by TESS, or, If necessary, by other charitable organizations.

The LEC could be set up to assist the community 24 hours a day, and educate children and adults from pre-elementary school through college. Education on important community issues, the behavioral sciences, and training in the fine arts could be provided. Skill training, recreational and library facilities, and continuing education courses could also be provided. Study halls could be provided much of the day. Care and concern by all would be encouraged. A commitment to positive behavior (Le, establishing within the participant personal Initiative and a positive life style) would be obtained. Doctors could assist in providing needed medical care and medication. Referrals to organizations such as Narcotics Anonymous and Recovery, Inc. could be made. Family living courses, one to one counseling, and group therapy could also be provided to enhance a participant’s self esteem and coping skills. Co-operative arrangements could be made with the business community to give the participant work experience. And woodworking and other skills which may become extinct with the death of the skilled tradesperson could be passed on.

Of course, some of the above may already be implemented. If so, we would support their continuity and any needed expansion.
We believe that role model schools or Life Enhancement Centers are necessary to obtain more students who are literate, Including in the sciences, who know how to think critically, lead a healthy life, behave ethically, and assume the responsibilities of citizenship in our society.

Please note that the term “Life Enhancement Center” is copyrighted by TESS Vice Chairperson, Jack E. Wilkins.

Sincerely yours,

David C. Hakim