Did you hear the bad news? Illinois has the highest ratio of criminal gang members per capita. Scary, huh?
The Mayor, the Sheriff, the Police Chief and two congressmen held a press conference wherein they all agreed - gangs are a threat. The Mayor believes that the Derrion Albert incident was "just an extension of what we've been seeing in the Peoria area." What is that - are they trying to scare us out of town? With all the school consolidation issues they know gang violence is foremost in most Peorian’s mind.
The Mayor has met with Arne Duncan, the press conference is over and now it’s time to put together a cohesive plan to tackle gang violence in Peoria. Here’s a suggestion…
The City of Peoria should open up a Charter School for Children with discipline problems. We need both a charter middle school and a high school, if you would please, Mr. Mayor. The schools should be located Downtown (close to the Police Department and CityLink). Hey - how about that old Cohen’s building!?
Is it really the duty of the school district to know how to deal with something as massive and violent as the gang culture our leaders spoke of in the press conference?
Instead of District 150 Watch Group being enraged at the BOE for all of the discipline problems the teachers are dealing with, maybe they should take your fight for an alternative school down to City Hall? It's on the City and the Police Department to control violence, isn't it?
The concerns about violence when high schools are merged are valid. Is the District putting together a school violence program? I haven’t heard – have you? Are they even capable of putting together something like that? They haven’t given any indication, one way or the other.
Teachers and parents are frustrated by the lack of discipline. They have been pleading with the BOE to find a solution. Maybe they are pleading with the wrong people. If an alternative school for children with discipline problems is what you want, the answer could very well be at a City Council Meeting instead of a School Board Meeting.