To improve the homicide rate, fix the schools
First there was the call for 500 volunteers. Now there's a collaboration with the health department to show that missing school doesn't just lead to academic failure, it can be deadly.
Dr. Alonso is pulling out all the stops to try to get the community engaged in Baltimore's schools. He's convinced that the schools can't get better until the community rallies around them. The purpose of the joint report with the health department (detailed in my story today) is to show that what are commonly viewed as school problems -- truancy, suspensions, expulsions -- are really the problems of the whole community. Want the city to have fewer homicides? Start by fixing the schools.
Some are more receptive to the message than others. There are around 500 people who have signed up to volunteer. There are also residents in Canton who called children names and yelled at them while they stood outside for a fire drill this week.
Every day, the situation feels more dire. As if things weren't already miserable enough at poor Calverton, yesterday a mother walked into a classroom and picked a fight with a teacher.
Now that's a community problem.