Wednesday, August 02, 2017

Education Stats Needed on Teenage Shooters

Brandon CookJavare Smith

It's not your imagination: nearly every night on the local news we're treated to mayhem committed by teenagers, some as young as 14! These serious crimes usually get a small paragraph in the paper; after all, unless the teenager is white or lives in an upscale neighborhood, it's business as usual, right? Doesn't concern us, after all.

Wrong. Just wrong. 

It's time to put to bed the idea that low achievement in school only affects other people. How can we get the true effects of low-achievement and dropouts across to the community at large so that the school district must change for the better?

Publicize who these children (yes, children) are. 

First example from last Monday night:

"Brandon Cook, 18, of Wayfield Circle, is charged with one count each of armed robbery and possession of a firearm during a violent crime."

He's 18. Did he graduate from high school? Was he in school last year or a dropout? What was his reading level on the last standardized test he took?

See what I mean? What are the chances that Brandon graduated from high school reading on grade level? What future beckoned for him if he didn't?

Second example from last Sunday afternoon:

"19-year-old Javare Cortez Smith, of Jobee Drive in Charleston, was arrested. North Charleston Police Department spokesman Spencer Pryor said Smith is charged with attempted murder, possession of a firearm during the commission of a violent crime and possession of a stolen firearm. 
"Police said  [17-year-old Tyrese Wanya-Shih] Middlebrooks, the shooting victim, is charged with conspiracy to violate South Carolina narcotics law."

So, was 17-year-old Tyrese planning to enter his senior year at West Ashley High School, or did he drop out years ago when he couldn't read his textbooks? What about Javare? High school graduate?

You tell me.

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