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[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/10/27/gangrape.highschool.jpg caption="Police say a student at Richmond High School was gang raped outside during a homecoming dance."]
CNN Education Contributor
Our kids are subjected to environments and images of violence on a level never seen before. They are numbed. I asked a group of girls about why listening to Chris Brown was wrong and I was not prepared to be blown away by their twisted perception of what is reasonable behavior.
If you have not been in a school lately you ought to be afraid, very afraid. The highest rates of violence are directly related to what is considered acceptable.
From the streets of Chicago – where children watched and an adult taped a child be beaten to death – to Richmond High School where children watched a child's innocence ripped from her soul, we have seen what happens when children lose respect for life.
This is the direct result of kids feeling unraised and unloved. It is also the result of kids growing up without adult structure and high expectations. Communities can become Lord of the Flies environments in which the kids make adult decisions and they decide wrong every single time.
We have got to answer the question, "How much do we love our kids?"
The answer must be enough to create smaller, loving schools with longer school days and years. These schools are structured and driven by high expectations.
We can show kids how to love themselves and others. We can prevent many forms of violence. While there is no cure for crazy, we can create loving educational communities because we have examples all over the nation.
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