About one week ago, I was exiting off of 74 at lower Knoxville Avenue. As we approached Glen Oak we heard and saw an un-marked Police car with siren blaring and lights flashing, zoom by. As it was just around the time school was letting out, we assumed they were headed to Peoria High School.
We saw the car turn off Knoxville onto Richmond, we drove slowly across Richmond, rubber necked down the street and didn’t see anything. We proceeded up Knoxville past the old Cub Foods, and we didn’t see anything there either. What is odd, is that I have been hearing people say that large fights took place that afternoon on Richmond and at the Old Cub Foods and pepper balls were dispersed.
I am having a hard time believing that with a Chief of Security as capable as Officer Collins that District 150 is letting their students maraud entire neighborhoods and Officer Collins wouldn’t have anything to say. If pepper balls were dispersed in the area of the school, with students present, he would have given a report on this – right?
I spoke earlier of Officer Collins neither confirming nor denying the reports of violence at last night's meeting. However, I am thinking that perhaps Officer Collins was at the meeting last night for the same reason I was, to see if parents would come forward with more information about the violence.
If children are being beat up and/or hassled on their way to and from school, why didn’t the parents of those children come to the BOE with their complaints? If neighborhoods around Peoria High School are being marauded, why didn’t the neighborhood come to the BOE with their complaints?
General Parker is the President of the Heart of Peoria Neighborhood Association. He and his wife, BOE Member, Rachael Parker live in the area of Peoria High School and are very active in the neighborhood. They both were at the BOE meeting and neither one of them spoke of receiving complaints from neighbors. As a matter of fact, if you go to the Heart of Peoria Neighborhood Association webpage, you will see the photo to the left, along with contact information.
I am bothered to hear people speaking of children with such disdain and I can’t help but wonder if some of the complaints of large groups of scary children are racially motivated. I also don’t like the component of people who didn't want Woodruff to close, implying that people from Peoria High are the problem. As I recall, Woodruff High School had fights and discipline issues just like Peoria High School, Manual and Richwoods. The propensity to fight appears to be District wide.
It was also very troubling for me to view Carl Cannon’s fashion police video. The uneasiness was heightened, when I saw my nephew in Mr. Cannon’s video being pulled to the side. My nephew is a good kid and he does not need the ELITE team to tell him how to behave or dress. He is a kid who is well taken care of; with a father who is gainfully employed and he does not wear baggy clothing to school. He was stopped by Mr. Cannon, at Manual, for wearing Birkenstocks. He was held up for .25 minutes, while Mr. Cannon continued to pull other children over and then he looked at him and said “oh yeah, you can go”. He was humiliated and it made me sad to hear that in his voice. He won't be happy about the fact that he is in a District 150 video, appearing to be disciplined.
Many clapped at the video presentation Mr. Cannon put on. I couldn’t, because it bothered me to see groups of children rounded up that way. It’s all just a little to close to racial profiling for me to cheer on the process. Oh well, I guess if it’s working, that’s more important than the humility of our young people.