I am a former teacher of District 61, so am well aware of the unsafe working conditions for teachers and their students. I was reminded of a time when, as a union representative, I expressed to Bill Mitchell and Bob Flider that the No. 1 problem facing the Decatur Schools is that they are not safe.
That was 15 years ago. The violence has only increased since then. During said coverage, the school board was informed of the daily violence: teachers being stabbed with pencils, hit, and kicked. A student described how students remain in the classrooms and go late to their next class due to the fear of violence in the hallways.
Then, to top it all off, in District 61 fashion, the leadership said that it wasn't every day-more like once a week -- as if that excuses teachers and students being abused.
The community is not ignorant. We know the violence is increasing. We know it happens daily in Decatur schools. Those poor teachers don't even have the support of their administration. They are on the front lines continually.
Decatur needs to be proactive-not reactive. Is someone going to have to die before they are willing to face the truth? Ignoring and minimizing the truth to protect a reputation that is already destroyed is ridiculous. Your teachers and children have a right to safe education. Extra security and metal detectors are a must. You think that looks bad? Wait until someone is stabbed to death or shot?
Kristin Black, Macon