Letter to the Editor
To the Editor:
An article published on August 31–September 6, in the Capital Outlook (vol. 43, No. 35), written by St. Claire Murraine and entitled, “Members of Clergy suggest vocational training as step to reducing crime,” describes how vocational education programs that help young people prepare for a career could be one of the most effective tools to help reduce the high crime rate in Tallahassee, Fla.
There were three pastors surveyed in the article. Each pastor agreed that more proactive measures needed to be taken to help their crime-ridden neighborhoods. Their conclusion: implementing vocational training in the schools to equip young people with a trade would help the situation.
“Teaching young people how to be electricians, plumbers and engineers would better serve them,” said Lee Johnson, pastor at Trinity United Presbyterian Church.
Johnson believes that kids who do not have a career path go into a life of crime and delinquency.
Another pastor, Bill Proctor, who is also the county commissioner, said he has been a longtime advocate of vocational training.
“It’s one of the surest ways to reduce unemployment – especially among poor people,” he said.
“We have to prep and prepare them for their lives,” Proctor said.
Some students are cut out for college; others are not, and there’s nothing wrong with that. Vocational education provides a student with a trade that prepares them for skilled and lucrative careers, which in turn, makes them feel useful and a viable part of the community. The skills gained from vocational training gives a person a direction in life, therefore building character, confidence, and personal satisfaction.
For almost 30 years, I have taught in both the city and county school systems. As a coach, I have seen how academics and athletics go hand in hand to make a well-rounded individual. As a retired educator and coach, I see how vocational training in high school is needed to benefit students as well as the community in which we live. Vocational education is a vital element missing in our school system and our children and community are suffering from this missing element.
In short, vocational education is a gift of preparation for life that could help our young people get off on the right foot in life. Don’t you think our young people are worth the investment? We must work together to reinstate vocational education back into the school system. Our children are depending on us.