Dads help curb violence at Louisiana high school


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I keep thinking about that Twitter link you sent me about the group of dads who came together after violence in their local high school got completely out of hand, and now work in shifts to greet students in the morning and help create a positive environment for learning.


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I thought you would appreciate it. I think it is brilliant – so simple, yet so powerful.


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As a warm and fuzzy single mom, I was overwhelmed by it. Kids who might act “fearless” to their peers, and even to some adults, often behave differently around their parents. Especially fathers and father figures.


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You were always the obedient one, but Mom’s attempts at disciplining and lecturing me fell on deaf ears. But, it was very different with Daddy. All he had to say was that he was disappointed in me and thought I knew better. Or, give me that look of disappointment.


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I never knew he’d give you a “look”, but I laughed out loud when one of the students said, "You ever heard of 'a look’?" when talking about the “power" that most dads have. It reminded me of YOUR “look” – the one that none of us want to be on the receiving end of.


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Well, it sounds like the students at Southwood High School in Shreveport, Louisiana, do not want to be on the receiving side of a “look” either as ever since the “Dad’s on Duty” arrived there have been no more incidents of violence. Although there has been a steady supply of “Dad Jokes”.


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You can’t help but smile and roll your eyes at those. But it’s heartwarming how these dads came together not only for their own kids, but all the kids in the high school. It made me think how wonderful it would be if all high schools could have this.


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Funny you say that. Ever since the initial story went viral, the organization’s founders have been approached by people all across the country who want to duplicate the success.


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Imagine, if in addition to PTAs at schools, you also had “Dads on Duty”. How awesome would that be?


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Very. There is a great op-ed piece written by a former PTA and PTSA president that addresses just that, and how seeing parents on school campuses provides a sense of family and a sense of security, something that has somehow gotten lost.


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That all makes sense. Not to mention, it will give the “Dads on Duty” a wider audience for their jokes.


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Jokes that only dads can do …
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It’s #GivingTuesday, and although it’s always a good time to think of others, remember all the people who are continuing to deal with the aftermath of natural disasters long after the headlines have been forgotten.

And even though Black believes charitable giving can be “secretive”, she also knows there’s science proving helping others is good for you. (Warning: she likes to recommend the book “Wonder Drug: 7 Scientifically Proven Ways That Serving Others Is the Best Medicine for Yourself.“)

P.S. – Wherever you may choose to donate, beware of potential scammers. So, if in doubt – check them out! (Black likes GuideStar and Charity Navigator.)



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I know today’s Giving Tuesday, but what I always find so amazing is how you treat every day as “Giving Tuesday."


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What makes you say that? I do not donate to an organization or charity every day.


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You’re always so literal. I meant that the spirit of “giving to others”, whether donating or providing support in some way, seems to be part of your daily life.


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I think you are exaggerating.
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Photo courtesy of Red’s eldest daughter, Natasha


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At the risk of asking you a warm and fuzzy question, have you thought about what you’re most thankful for this Thanksgiving?


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Yes.


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I should’ve guessed that you’d take the question literally. Could you expand on that a little, or at least give me a hint?
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When Red was a child, toilets represented more than a place to go when, well, you had to go. Much to Black’s amusement, Red saw cleaning them as a reward. (Really! Check out Red's post below.) But neither of us realized that billions of people don’t have access to toilets. And if it weren’t for today being World Toilet Day, we never would have known the magnitude of the associated health and safety issues – or the connection between sanitation and groundwater.

RED: What can I tell you? When I was a kid, one of my all-time favorite things to do was … clean the toilet. Yes, you read that correctly. And it wasn’t because I was a germophobe or a clean freak. I just loved being able to sit on the floor, using as much Bon Ami (I’ve no idea why I remember the brand) cleaning powder as I wanted. And the best part? All those bubbles!

It kept me entertained for hours. Not to mention, my mom was thrilled because it kept me “contained” and out of her hair. So much so that if I was very good and behaved myself, she might even give me “special permission” to clean the toilet in my parent’s bathroom. Of course, Black, being five years older and understanding the situation, found it all extremely amusing. Even now, decades later, she still gives me grief about it,

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