“My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” – John 15:12-13
High school is a difficult time for many students. When hundreds of students are brought together in the same building, there is often trouble for a variety of reasons. That many people in one place will result in personalities clashing. The Southwood High School in Shreveport, Louisiana, recently experienced a very difficult week. Multiple fights took place on the school campus in just one week. The fights resulted in the arrest of 23 students.
The situation at Southwood High School was serious. The school was becoming known for having a violent culture. Suddenly, the fights stopped, and no more arrests were made. It was not because more police were sent to the campus. It was not because more staff were cracking down. It is because a group of men from the community organized and began volunteering in the school.
They call themselves “Dads on Duty.” About 40 men, fathers from the community, are now in the halls with the students, encouraging a positive school environment. When students are moving from class to class, the “Dads on Duty” help them move quickly from one destination to another. Along the way, the dads tell jokes (dad jokes of course), they talk with students who are struggling, and they encourage positive behavior. The mere presence of these “Dads” have changed this school from a culture of violence and chaos to one of joy and peace.
Not one of the “Dads on Duty” is trained as a counselor, law enforcement, or educator. They are simply a group of men who know that to make a difference, you must show up. They are a group of men who know that love changes things for the better. These Dads have brought hope to a school because they showed up and offered their time and service to help make a difference in the lives of others.
As a people of faith, we know that we are capable of making a difference in our world. Our words and our actions come together to share God’s love and bring hope to the world. Like these wonderful Dads on Duty, when we see a need, we should respond with our presence and our gifts. This is how God’s people change the world from violence and chaos to joy and peace.
– Rev. Keith King, Pastor of Worship