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Strozier Letter - 03/29/09

I would like to bring to the attention of all parents in Rockdale and Newton counties, yes, yes, yes we do have gangs in the schools.

I am a parent of two children. My son was jumped into the gang in Conyers. My daughter is only beginning, she's in the sixth grade. When my son was jumped in the gang, I first was in denial, then I was angry, then I decided to fight for my son's life. I went to children's houses, I spoke with parents, I went to the principal of the high school, I spoke with the police. I took everything I thought was implementing my son with the gang. I even had to get downright ugly, but in the end, when my son turned 21, he was jail-free, drug-free, and childless.

Parents, we have got to take the schools and our communities back from the nonsense. We need to help the teachers and the principals by agreeing to uniforms for all school kids. Yes, some of us think that this takes away from your rights, but in reality it does not. If the children are in uniforms, how can they have gang power? Everyone is dressed alike. It will allow the teachers to teach, for the most part without having to deal with other issues in the classroom. When these gang members go to class, dressed in the red and black, the all black, the white Ts and black, the nice creased bandanas in the pockets, etc., it takes away from class time, therefore taking away from the learning abilities of those that are not involved in the gang. So, in reality, you would be helping your child.

I spoke with Dr. Samuel King, superintendent of Rockdale County schools, about mandating uniforms and he said that he needs 80 percent of the parents to agree in order to go forward. Parents, we must show a united front and take our schools back, allowing our teachers to teach. Then, when the weekend comes, parents we must monitor what our children are doing. If your child is not involved, then don't you want to see them get the education they deserve without all the distractions? Parents, are you tired of seeing the sagging pants? Are you tired of seeing the bandanas and all the colors the children are wearing? Children do not dress alike, that just is not cool. So when you see your child and their friends going places, and they all have the same thing or color on, please don't be naive to think that this is nothing.

Our children should be able to come and go and go to school without feeling pressured to join the gang. Our children should not have to go to school and be afraid to tell something to an adult, without fearing they will be labeled a 'snitch.' If we uniform these children now, we can together put a stop to a lot of the gang activities in our schools.

So please call or write or go see the Board of Education in your county and tell them, 'We want uniforms.' After all, you will be saving a lot of money as well.

Please know I am sharing my experiences with my child because I do not want to see another person go through what I went through with the gangs. With the grace of God and the help of Cynthia Hudson and Gloria Jackson, I was able to get through it. It is not an experience you want to have to deal with. Please help Dr. King and Dr. Steve Whatley in Newton County and mandate uniforms.

LaChelle Strozier