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Front Page - Friday, May 20, 2016

Bar joining with the City to mold young minds

Raising the Bar

Lynda Minks Hood

The City of Chattanooga Youth & Family Development Department and the Chattanooga Bar Association are working together on a project developed by Lurone “Coach” Jennings, Sr., called “Good Decision Making: Molding Young Minds To Make Good Decisions.” Through the endeavor, educators are talking with local school-age students about making good decisions.

There are legitimate concerns in our community about the adequacy of the character training the youth in our community are receiving. More than ever, our young people need strong, constructive guidance from their families and communities, including schools, youth organizations, religious institutions, and civic groups, to promote good citizenship and prevent violence and delinquency.

This is where you come in!

The public good is promoted when our youth are taught the importance of good character and its resulting good citizenship! I ask every bar member to seek this opportunity to incorporate the core values we were taught to the youth in our community.

We need you to be part of a Speaker’s Bureau that will talk with the young people in our community about making good decisions! You will be asked to speak at schools, churches, youth centers, etc.

To prepare volunteers, the Hon. Curtis L. Collier and Coach Jennings will be speaking at a CLE seminar on June 1 that will take place from 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m. We have applied to the Tennessee Commission on CLE for one hour of CLE credit for this seminar.

Here are some statics on today’s youth:

– About 160,000 children miss school every day due to fear of attack or intimidation by other students;

– American schools harbor approximately 2.1 million bullies and 2.7 million of their victims;

– One in seven students in grades K-12 is either a bully or a victim of bullying;

– Fifty-six percent of students have witnessed some type of bullying at school;

– Fifteen percent of all school absenteeism is related to fears of being bullied at school;

– Seventy-one percent of students report incidents of bullying as a problem at their school;

– One out of 20 students has seen a student with a gun at school;

– 282,000 students are physically attacked in secondary schools each month;

– Those in the lower grades reported being in twice as many fights as those in the higher grades;

– Ninety percent of fourth through eighth graders report being victims of bullying;

– Among students, homicide perpetrators were more than twice as likely as homicide victims to have been bullied by peers;

– Bullying statistics say revenge is the strongest motivation for school shootings;

– Eighty-seven percent of students said shootings are motivated by a desire to get back at those who have hurt them;

– Eighty-six of students said other kids picking on them, making fun of them or bullying them causes teenagers to turn to lethal violence in the schools;

– Sixty-one percent of students said students shoot others because they have been victims of physical abuse at home;

– Fifty-four percent of students said witnessing physical abuse at home can lead to violence in school;

– According to bullying statistics, one out of every 10 students who drops out of school does so because of repeated bullying; and 

– Harassment and bullying have been linked to 75 percent of school-shooting incidents.

Bullying can take many forms but it usually includes the following types of behavior:

Physical: hitting, kicking, pinching, punching, scratching, spitting, or any other form of physical attack. Damage to or taking someone else’s belongings may also constitute as physical bullying.

Verbal: name calling, insulting, making racist, sexist or homophobic jokes, remarks or teasing, using sexually suggestive or abusive language, offensive remarks.

Indirect: spreading nasty stories about someone, exclusion from social groups, being made the subject of malicious rumors, sending abusive mail, and email, and text messages (known as cyber bullying).

If you are interested in being a part of this project, please sign up for the CLE seminar. The location is to be determined. Watch your email for more details!