Inspired by Louisiana’s “Dads on Duty” initiative, which saw a grassroots group of fathers stepping up to stop the violence and crime in their local Shreveport high school, two dads in Virginia are starting their own chapter of “Dads on Duty” in Chesterfield County.
Jimmy and Josh Carter, who, between them, have seven children, felt compelled to do something following the alleged rape of a female student in the bathroom of Thomas Dale High School in Chesterfield at the hands of a teenage classmate in March.
The brothers had seen Louisiana’s “Dads on Duty,” which formed last fall at Shreveport’s Southwood High School following repeated acts of violence on the campus.
The Carters reached out to the group of dads and learned that when the 40 fathers began taking shifts to keep the peace at the school, the violence stopped and kids actually went to class.
“The violent crime percentages dropped tremendously, just by having those male mentors and that presence at the school,” Josh Carter told Fox News Digital.
DADS ON DUTY
STANDING GUARD AT LOUISIANA SCHOOL!!
PATROLLING THE HALLS
DADS ARE VERY IMPORTANT IN A CHILD'S LIFE
BOB WOODSON ROCKS!!
— sasha monet (@LabordeSheila) October 30, 2021
According to the brothers, around 30 Virginia fathers have already promised to participate in the initiative.
“Dads on Duty” in Chesterfield, hopes Josh, “would not only benefit the school system and the faculty staff with having somebody else there with them, but also the students, as well, to make them feel safer while they’re at school.”
“It kind of became a win-win for everybody,” Josh said.
It was concern over inadequate staffing that drove the Carter brothers to take action.
“If you’re talking about even Thomas Dale High School, where you have two campuses and hundreds of kids, you can’t match a student to every teacher or even a teacher to every five students,” Josh stated. “So there’s always going to be those opportunities for fighting, for alleged assaults, physically and sexually, because there are more students than faculty and the area is so big.”
The Carters say their group will be present to greet students as they arrive on campus, ensure kids actually make it to their classrooms throughout the day and be sure things go smoothly when the bell rings at the end of the day.
Virginia dads want to patrol schools to make them safer for students: 'Dads on Duty' https://t.co/McTrYaflkg
— Fox News (@FoxNews) May 20, 2022
Of particular importance, the brothers say, will be making sure the bathrooms — often problematic places — will remain safe.
“No dads participating in the program will actually be in the bathroom, it will be more of around the bathrooms,” Josh stressed. “So if there’s a group of seven kids walking in the bathrooms and there are only three stalls, obviously all seven of you don’t need to go in there at one time, because that’s where the trouble starts.”
Students have informed the brothers that their classmates will often serve as “lookouts” when a large group piles into the bathrooms for a brawl.
According to Jimmy Carter, parents have told them that their kids are afraid to use the school restrooms.
“So the first thing they do when they get home is run to the bathroom because they haven’t used it all day,” Jimmy said.
“The main focus behind the ‘Dads on Duty’ initiative is to make sure that every child feels safe and appreciated while they’re at school,” said Josh. “It’s hard for you to start to develop the necessary skills to be a successful adult if you’re constantly afraid of going to school every day. And, you know, it’s sad that we live in that society today, but there are a lot of kids — and kids that we’ve talked to — who are afraid to go to school because of that reason.”
“Dads on Duty” in Louisiana provided the Carters with pointers for starting their own version of the inspiring group.
“Dads on Duty” in Virginia is expected to fully roll out this fall.
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