April 21, 2005

Jeff Weise High School Shooter

CBS News | Troubled Life Of Minnesota Shooter: "Weise went on a rampage, shooting to death his grandfather and the grandfather's companion, and then invading his school on the Red Lake Indian Reservation. Armed with two pistols and a shotgun, he killed nine people and wounded seven before shooting himself to death in the nation's bloodiest school shooting since Columbine High in Colorado six years ago."

Authorities are investigating. Well let's see, Dad shot himself, mom is in a nursing home, grandpa carries a gun, he admired Hitler because he had lost his parents, he sketched gruesome comics of death for his English class, wore long black coats, boots and chains like the Columbine shooters, he'd been bullied at school, he blamed rap music for some of his violent tendencies, he was suicidal, taking a LOT of Prosaic, and had few friends. But what could the problem be??????

This was another lost boy, without positive, adult male influence, desperately waving many flags for help. Would the attention and regular involvement of an interested, supportive, and caring adult male, or better, a group of men have helped? Maybe we should investigate.

April 10, 2005

How to Coach Boys into Men

Coaching Boys into Men

"Be there. If it comes down to one thing you can do, this is it. Just being with boys is crucial. The time doesn't have to be spent in activities. Boys will probably not say this directly -- but they want a male presence around them, even if few words are exchanged."

The Family Violence Prevention Fund (FVPA) is an organization dedicated to stopping violence against women. On this website they list a short but powerful, seven item formula, describing ways men can positively influence boys. If men were to show up for boys in these ways, they would teach boys a lot about respect, manhood, and relationships with women. In addition, just by being with a boy and without much effort on the man's part, they would also teach boys thousands of smaller but very critical lessons about how to be a man. Men ARE the book on manhood most adolescent boys are hot to read... and they do, by constantly watching men... whether men realize it or not.

April 3, 2005

Schools, Sexism, and Boy Violence

Schools, Sexism and Violence:

"...boys are socialized from a very young age to be tough, in control and aggressive"

This website is about a men's group based in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada, doing something to save boys from the worst of many negative cultural messages about "men," and manhood. This Men For Change group is volunteering in schools with a curriculum titled: Healthy Relationships: A Violence-Prevention Curriculum for grades 7, 8 and 9. They are going after the core messages we teach boys about being tough, in control, and aggressive to get their needs met. This work is nicely summed up in their intention statement...

"We need to all work together and challenge the deeply ingrained illusion that we are all locked into a rigid stereotype, tough and aggressive for boys, passive and beauty-bound, for girls. Then and only then will we be helping teach our students, and ourselves, not the law of the jungle where only the strongest survive, but rather the choices needed to build healthy relationships based on cooperation and trust in which everyone is thrives."

These men are some of my heros!