Community dads are patrolling Southwood High School in Shreveport, Louisiana, following a series of fights that involved nearly two dozen students.
Last month, a video of several brawling Southwood students went viral on social media. More incidents over the next few days led to police arresting twenty-three students and charging them with disturbing the peace. One student was additionally charged with battery on an assistant principal.
Over the past few weeks, the Shreveport community — disturbed by the violence — has rallied around the school. As featured by CBS News, a group of local fathers began patrolling the school to provide a tender, yet firm, presence:
They formed Dads on Duty — a group of about 40 dads who take shifts spending time at the school in Shreveport, Louisiana, greeting students in the morning and helping maintain a positive environment for learning, rather than fighting.
The students say it’s working — and the numbers prove it. There hasn’t been a single incident on campus since the dads showed up.
“We’re dads. We decided the best people who can take care of our kids are who? Are us,” explained Michael LaFitte, who started Dads on Duty. The dads saw that “not everybody has a father figure at home.”
DADS ON DUTY: After a violent week of fighting at a Louisiana high school, parents knew something had to change. So, a group of dads decided to show up not just for their kids – but for the whole student body – to help maintain a positive environment. @SteveHartmanCBS has more. pic.twitter.com/Uux3qx48sd
— CBS Evening News (@CBSEveningNews) October 22, 2021
“I immediately felt a form of safety,” one student told CBS. “We stopped fighting; people started going to class.”
Dads on Duty intends to form new chapters throughout Louisiana and the United States.
Across the country, government lockdowns and controversies over Critical Race Theory have led many parents to rethink public education.
A report from the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools showed that charter school enrollment increased by 7.1% during the 2020-2021 school year. Other parents turned to homeschooling; the report observes that from March 2020 to September 2020, homeschooling rates across the country grew between 5.4% and 11%.
The United States Department of Education found that public school enrollment “fell by its largest margin in at least two decades” — a 3% drop between the 2019-20 and 2020-21 school years.
In a July interview with The Daily Wire, conservative commentator Allie Beth Stuckey advised parents that everyone — from “Blue’s Clues” to government schools — is seeking to indoctrinate their children.
“They want to cultivate your child’s mind and form your child’s mind in their image — in the image of progressivism,” she explained. “They might not call themselves religious, but they are in every sense of the word. They’ve got their own dogmas, they’ve got their own kind of theology and their own worldview.”
“We have to teach our kids stuff that you and I probably didn’t even have to learn. Our parents didn’t have to teach us the difference between a man and a woman. But I also think it’s an exciting opportunity for parents to think through our faith. Why do we believe what we believe about gender, sexuality, abortion, God, creation, our bodies, and the government? Why do we believe these things? We can’t take anything for granted.”
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