‘Dads on Duty’ Deploys Dads in Schools to End Gang Violence
American fathers have launched a new initiative in schools that provides a powerful reminder of the important role dads play in the lives of their children – and the community.
To tackle rising school violence, up to 40 dads from Southwood High School in Louisiana have banded together under the banner Dads on Duty USA. Their battle plan is simple: be present on school grounds.
According to CBS, “the students say it’s working — and the numbers prove it. There hasn’t been a single incident on campus since the dads showed up.” CBS reports that any violence that “shows up at the school now has to run the gauntlet of good-parenting.”
Dads on Duty (DOD) began in an office after five concerned dads gathered for an ideas session on how to help reduce the war zone atmosphere at the school.
CBS said, “though none of the dads have degrees in school counselling or criminal justice, they do have some relevant experience.” In the words of DOD USA founder Michael LaFitte, “We’re dads. We decided the best people who can take care of our kids are who? Are us.”
A Sharp Reduction in Violence
Good Morning America expanded on the story, explaining that between six and 10 dads work in shifts every day. They are present throughout the school day, including at extracurricular activities like football games and a recent homecoming dance.
The school is home to 1,500 students.
Principle Kim H. Pendleton, PhD told Good Morning America, “the dads’ efforts are paying off with gang violence tapering off’. Initially, violence had intensified with the start of the new school year.
Before DOD was launched, Pendleton said that the school had a “heavy police presence”, which didn’t go down well with the kids. Telling Good Morning America why she’s a fan of the movement, Pendleton explained,
The dads come from the community. They care and they’re committed to being present … The kids see them as they’re walking in in the morning. They greet the kids; they tell corny jokes. When I do my rounds to classrooms, they walk with me. They’re making sure that kids are leaving school safely. People are able to talk to them.
Concerning child safety, Good Morning America noted that dads are “vetted by an independent security company” before participation in the DOD program.
No One is Better Qualified Than a Dad
An overjoyed John Stonestreet from Breakpoint.org offered his thoughts on the parent-controlled movement, stating,
I loved how these dads stepped up and stepped in. The crisis in Shreveport required more than good intentions. Detention and even arrests weren’t enough to curb fights on campus. It required fathers. After all, God created dads for just this kind of thing.
Highlighting the significance of bringing strong fathers in to replace the state’s peace enforcers, Stonestreet argued that DOD’s actions
offer a real-life example of the difference it makes when we find ways to answer four simple questions: What good can we celebrate? What’s missing that we can offer? What’s broken that we can fix? What evil must we oppose?
It isn’t new for dads to get involved in their kid’s education. This has long been part of classical education and is something that homeschoolers are also renowned for.
The Irreplaceable Role of Fathers
The success of Dads on Duty speaks volumes about the importance of dads having an active role in their children’s lives. The change seen at Southwood High School testifies to this.
The role of a father and the influence of a male’s presence in the formation of a child – be it spiritual, emotional, physical, psychological, vocational, and educational – cannot be replaced.
This fact runs counter to third-wave feminism and its 2SLBGTQAAI+ ideological progeny, which portrays masculinity as toxic. To these ideologies, masculinity is a threat, a thing to be feared and undermined.
Ironically, those who preach “toxic masculinity” are often toxic in their view of masculinity. This ideology has birthed a fatherless generation, and created a crisis in masculinity for over 30 years. Today, the West is reaping the effects of its toxification of family, faith and freedom.
Dads on Duty is but one example of a shift back towards sanity. As its founder, LaFitte, has summarised,
Although we’re titled ‘Dads on Duty,’ we also serve as Uncles on duty, we serve as men of the community on duty […] Because there are some folks who don’t have a father or don’t have such a great relationship with their father, and it’s our goal to let them see what the right relationship with a male figure is supposed to look like.
Rod, his wife Jonda, and their five kids are homeschooling veterans. Rod spent 12 years in management at Koorong, has a Bachelor’s Degree in Ministry & Theology, and is a writer for the theological, politically edgy news site Caldron Pool. Rod also writes for the Spectator. Find his personal blog here.
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