Monday, October 29, 2007

Thank you, whoever you are

Last spring a teacher was assaulted at Jere Baxter ALC. Neighbors were shocked at the attack and further shocked to learn that no alternative schools had school resource officers. The neighborhood association tried to get answers from Gracie Porter and the police department with very little success. The best that could be done, we were told, was to separate the students by grade and to keep calling the police when neighbors and local merchants observed illegal behavior.

Today, I've been told that Jere Baxter ALC now has a police officer at the school for four hours per day until December 22. No one seems to know how this came about, but we're all very thankful it has. The principal was quoted as saying the attitude of the students at the school has changed 180 degrees. I can't imagine how much relief teacher must be feeling about their safety. I know the local merchants are happy to see that their serious concerns about truant behavior is being addressed.

I'm told some folks are starting to think outside the box in regard to these schools and I'm hopeful that further improvements for these students, and the neighborhoods that host them, will be forthcoming.

Heartfelt thanks to whomever saw the wisdom in placing an officer at Baxter. I hope that when school resumes in January they'll have found a way to continue that position. Thank you for this much. It has already made a difference.

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