Lockdown just part of bigger process

Published 9:23pm Tuesday, February 26, 2013

It is impressive the Selma City School System partners with the city of Selma Police Department to conduct lockdown drills. What was more remarkable was the fact that during the last Tuesday’s drills, which lasted for almost two hours that no weapons were found and an insignificant amount of marijuana was discovered. The outcome of the drill tells me a whole lot.

While these drills may be commendable, still these types of exercise may easily be misconstrued for what I call “the catch and punish implementation.”

I believe the outcome of the drill will remain like the Tuesday’s for a long time; it does not take a master analyst to figure it out for even a deer once uttered, “When the hunters started to shoot without missing, I began to run without stopping until I heard no more gunshots.” No student wants to be caught, particularly with the help of a cell phone and other faster means of sharing information.

I learned from my profession that prevention and correction are like two sides of coin; when we find issues that demand correction, we also expect preventive measures in place to prevent recurrence. Overall methodology shouldn’t depict more of “We are here to get you,” than “We are here to help you.” I’m persuaded we can offer more besides lockdowns, drug busts, hearings and expulsions.

On the day of the last lockdown, a person asked me if it was true that someone was shooting people at Selma High because police cars were everywhere and so on. I told the person that I have not heard about it and he followed it with “I thought you are on the school board.”

It does not matter whether the exercise is announced or unannounced, what is more important is the people you come to are well informed in the bad that you are trying to prevent or correct. More so, to understand the good you are trying to establish is not mistaken as a systematic or organized harassment.

I may have to find out how many lockdowns the three high schools in the Dallas County School System conducts within a given period.

Lockdowns may continue but I also want us to keep producing well-rounded people who will abstain from drugs, whether on campus or off campus; and also refrain from illegal possession of guns.

Schools, students, parents and business and spiritual leaders should continue to be actively involved in this deterrence strategy. We should continue to invite experts and speakers whose preventive programs have measurable impacts on our students.

More professional developments that are centered on drug abuse prevention should be encouraged for our teachers because they have resources and aptitude to be more effective. I know our teachers, coaches and staff are well trained and also have the experience on how to utilize a wider range of learning tools, strategies and evaluation technique that have measurable outcomes.

Not having educational resources should not deter parental involvement. Moreover, adults who use drugs or drink alcohol should desist from doing it in the presence of the young ones, particularly in school or school like settings for what mentors do mentees think it is honorable.

  • popdukes12

    Mr. Ufomadu, thank you for not preaching in this article. I was able to actually read the entire piece. Good job, and I agree with you on you observations. pops

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