If a father knows best, imagine what happens when about 40 dads come together to help curb violence at the high school their kids attend.
The result, as CBS News reports, is “Dads on Duty”– a group that formed in the wake of 23 students being arrested after several fights at Southwood High School in Shreveport, Louisiana. Their mission is to create a more positive environment within the school to dissuade fighting and encourage learning.
Donning red shirts with the name of the group emblazoned on them, the Dads on Duty take shifts hanging out at the school and interacting with the students.
Since the group formed, no incidents have been reported at the school.
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And though none of the dads have degrees in school counseling or criminal justice, they do have some relevant experience.
“We’re dads. We decided the best people who can take care of our kids are who? Are us,” Michael LaFitte, who started Dads on Duty, said.
Now, any negative energy that enters the building has to run the gauntlet of good parenting.
“I immediately felt a form of safety,” one of the students said. “We stopped fighting; people started going to class.”
Students at Southwood told CBS that the Dads on Duty bring plenty of firm looks and warnings that dads are known to give and endless corny jokes:
“They just make funny jokes like, ‘Oh, hey, your shoe is untied,’ but it’s really not untied,” a student commented.
“They hate it! They’re so embarrassed by it,” LaFitte said of the students.
And it’s that perfect mix of tough love and gentle ribbing that dads do so well that has helped transform this school.
“The school has just been happy — and you can feel it,” a student said.
And now the dads plan to keep going to Southwood indefinitely.
“Because not everybody has a father figure at home – or a male, period, in their life. So just to be here makes a big difference,” the dads said.
Southwood students aren’t the only ones who have appreciated the efforts of the Dads on Duty. The group and its impact have also been widely praised on social media. You love to see it!