I’m writing in response to the editorial “Don’t Destroy D.C. Nightlife” (THE HOYA, Jan. 30, 2007, A2). The editorial mentioned Councilman Jim Graham’s push to ban people under 21 from bars and clubs that serve alcohol.

Graham’s proposal came in response to the death of Taleshia Ford, a teenager who was brutally gunned down as a bystander to a gunfight outside an alcohol-serving club. Although I believe that Councilman Jim Graham’s proposal is well-intentioned, I don’t agree with his proposal. Rather, I believe that this is a call to action to get involved in the educational system.

Taleisha Ford, a high school senior, was a student of mine at Booker T. Washington High School. She was known to everyone at school as “Tilly.” I saw Tilly in school and had the privilege of teaching one of her siblings in a section of my world history class. Taleisha was killed by a gun – an indication of the continuing erosion of the hope and optimism of the youth in our city.

Guns, violence and drugs remain a dangerous element in our inner-city schools. More dangerous, however, is the disconnect that can result from a society that allows itself to become disengaged and uninterested in the lives of others.

D.C. public schools and students need more constructive and positive role models who are committed to changing the situation in the city by promoting healthy, safe and positive activities for our young people.

I would like to take this opportunity to invite all Georgetown students to reflect on their contributions to D.C. youth and to consider becoming a part of the movement to help the youth of our city.



JAN. 31, 2007

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