YOUTH AND INCARCERATION IN SAN FRANCISCO (04/04/11)
If we take one brief look at the incarceration rate in San Francisco; we see - where there is a huge disparity of services in some of the San Francisco Districts we have an explosion of youth - being incarcerated.
The educational system, especially the San Francisco Unified School System has failed thousands of youth and the drab talk and less action by the San Francisco Board of Education speaks volumes to the verbosity and diatribe that is taking our Public Schools down the drain and into a putrid - cesspool.
Over twenty thousand decent families - that is father, mother and children have left San Francisco. This factor does not bode well for San Francisco but the SF Board of Education who hold their meetings at 555 Franklin - could not care less about the welfare of the youth and the many good families that have left San Francisco for good.
The makeup of the SF Board of Education is strange, some of these good for nothing folks have been on the Board forever. I can understand if someone remains to make progress but it borders on insanity when with a straight face some of the Board Members pretend that all is well and that their services and advice needed. That could not be further from the TRUTH.
The San Francisco Unified School District in the last twenty years has been going downhill. Thrice this City and County of San Francisco has been rescued. The SFUSD has dipped into the City and County of San Francisco's, Rainy Day Fund thus saving our youth and the hard working teachers. I cannot say that of the Administrators, the Principals and of course the SF Board of Education that have been a burden and a parasite to our great City of San Francisco.
The thousands of visits to the various schools linked to SFUSD by many of us that volunteer have shared light on the topic, I am addressing. It took us time to understand and listen to the youth, understand the problems faced by the youth; for us to achieve progress. Again and again when it comes to the SFUSD - vague promises have been made and nothing much accomplished.
In a few weeks hundreds of teachers will get layoff notices; however, the Administrators will be kept intact and the SFUSD Superintendent thinks that this is Kosher. Well, the time has come for this Superintendent to go elsewhere - he has failed and he was pussyfooting with Mayor Gavin Newsom - too much.
I say the same of Hydra Mendonsa who was anointed by Gavin Newsom and now as Chair; of the SFUSD Board of Education, is making a food of herself. The SF Board of Education meetings are long and dragged - ninety percent of the agenda does not really, impact the students - the issues that are brought up are vague and drab - because of lack of planning and poor leadership.
Truancy in San Francisco is at an all time high with over seven thousand students categorized as chronic truants. Another five thousand students fall into a category where may be with some help they can go back to school - regularly.
One has just to spend some time at the Juvenile Hall and attend the Courts to witness; what is happening to our youth. While the Public Defender and his attorneys work hard; those attorneys who prosecute the youth really want them to fail and be part of the system - the Incarceration System which is a Billion Dollar plus industry.
Many of our youth that live in the Southeast Sector have to travel through many turfs to get to school. Many of the students, especially the poor ones have to take Public Transportation. While our Mayor is busy talking about the Americas Cup and improving Public Transit; today our youth cannot reach school on time. The Public Transit is prone to gang violence, safety issues, and the Mayor and the SF Board of Supervisors; know about these issues, but impotent as they are - talk the talk and cannot walk the walk.
On two fronts our Mayors and our SF Board of Supervisors have failed - one Safety and the other Health. If these so called Representatives take time to study the empirical data; without any hesitation they will realize they have comprised and put many of the youth in harm's way.
Recently a hearing was held about the N Judah line and how the students find it difficult to get to school on time. We do have Public Transportation but it does not do justice to youth and those that want to attend school and be on time.
This City and County of San Francisco, this City named after St. Francis of Assisi cannot continue in this manner doing injustice to our youth. Again and again too many youth have fallen prey to injustice and carelessness.
Again and again I have written about these adverse factors and again and again, in a nonchalant manner the authorities that should act; think they can defer doing what needs to be done; the time has come to act. We just cannot afford to send the youth; to be rehabilitated in our aging, filthy, non-performing - jails. We cannot fail our youth by depriving them of certain amenities; the tax payer pays taxes and Upper Management - swallows it all.
Animals have better shelter than our over-crowded, filthy jails.
It is time we make up our minds; state clearly to the youth if we really want to play a keen role in the character building of our youth and offer them quality education. Look at our youth straight in the eye and provide them with quality transportation and address safety issues. Offer them jobs and offer them opportunities to better themselves. We know we are doing a poor job; the adults that we call ourselves; and yet, when the time comes to evaluate the situation - we blame the youth.
The type of behavior does not become of any adult worth their salt; less Administrators, Principals, the SF Board of Education, the School Superintendent, the sorry ass Mayors, and of course the SF Board of Supervisors. The many meetings are good - but where is the action.
We are mandated to provide quality education and not to screw up our youth and let them fend for themselves in jails, and other mediocre so called institutions, called rehabilitation centers - where more harm is done than good.
Go to our Colleges and Universities and see if you can count and come to any conclusion, when you witness a lack of male students from eighteen years to twenty four - missing in large numbers. You see the females and they number fifteen females to one male. When it comes to African Americans and Latinos the ratio - is one to thirty if not forty. Go Figure.
We can address this situation and we must provide our youth with a Quality of Life factors that favors good schools, standard education, a good career with sound skills, so that they can graduated and contribute well to Society. No one wants to add to the jails and foster incarceration; aid and abet the Incarceration Business. A billion dollar business and growing.