Thabiti Brown on Intervening Before the Situation Escalates
Thabiti Brown is the principal at Codman Academy, a charter public school in Dorchester, Massachusetts.
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"So I think that at core, you know, the core part of this dilemma is that we had a young lady who was part of a group that was ostracized from that group, and then was forced to, I think, endure harassment on an on-going basis – almost two years of harassment. That scenario can very easily end in violence. It can very easily end in that student wanting to take their life. It can easily end in that student not wanting to come to school, not learning, being held back. There are serious, serious consequences to this situation. We subscribe at the school to the broken-windows theory, by and large; there's this sociologist – I forget who coined it- but the idea that if there’s a little thing that’s messed up here, we need to address that immediately, because that little thing can become a much bigger thing. So, you know, if a window is broken on an empty house that no one is living in, and you don’t fix that window, odds are people are going to come around and break some other windows. Eventually that house gets set on fire and it burns down and it’s an empty lot. So here, this is the type of thing, this scenario is the type of scenario where we say, we want to intervene now. This is the place to intervene, because this can easily snowball into much more harmful situations."