dads, fatherhood, education

Dads on Duty are transforming a Louisiana high school that has been plagued by violence.

The incidents of students fighting at Southwood High School in September were overwhelming. CBS News reports that in just three days, 23 students were arrested for violence toward one another at the Shreveport, Louisiana high school. One student was even accused of battery after punching an assistant principal, according to KTBS News.

A group of dads decided enough was enough. They took matters into their own hands—by taking themselves into the school hallways.

Dads on Duty is a group of around 40 fathers who organize in shifts to have a daily presence at the school. They show up clad in matching t-shirts with their bad dad jokes and stern looks at the ready, engaging with the student body in a way that only dads can. With a mix of tough love and humor, they make sure students get to class on time and keep everyone in line.

Michael LaFitte founded Dads on Duty to bring a fatherly presence to the students who might not have good examples at home.

"We're dads. We decided the best people who can take care of our kids are who? Are us," LaFitte told CBS News.

That tough and tender care seems to be working. Since Dads on Duty started their shifts, there have been no more fights at the school.

"I immediately felt a form of safety," one student told CBS.

"We stopped fighting. People started going to class," said another.

"The school has just been happy—and you can feel it," said a third.

Dads help curb violence at Louisiana high schoolwww.youtube.com

Principal Kim Pendleton told KTBS that students love having these father figures at the school. Many of the kids know the dads from church or from their own neighborhoods, and Pendleton said she hopes more parents will join the effort.

"Because not everybody has a father figure at home—or a male, period, in their life," one of the dads told CBS. "So just to be here makes a big difference."

Dads on Duty told KTBS that they saw an opportunity to set an example and to show the community their love for the school. They hope to establish more chapters throughout Louisiana and perhaps around the country as well.

The CBS segment on the group has been well-received. People are loving what these dads are doing, from the universal understanding of "the look"…

Amazing how transformative a simple, strong, caring presence can be. Way to go, dads.

A breastfeeding mother's experience at Vienna's Schoenbrunn Zoo is touching people's hearts—but not without a fair amount of controversy.

Gemma Copeland shared her story on Facebook, which was then picked up by the Facebook page Boobie Babies. Photos show the mom breastfeeding her baby next to the window of the zoo's orangutan habitat, with a female orangutan sitting close to the glass, gazing at them.

"Today I got feeding support from the most unlikely of places, the most surreal moment of my life that had me in tears," Copeland wrote.

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This story originally appeared on 04.01.19

Australia is sending a strong message to domestic abusers worldwide: You're not welcome here.

Australia has recently broadened a migration law to bar any person who has been convicted of domestic violence anywhere in the world from getting a visa to enter the country. American R&B singer Chris Brown and boxing star Floyd Mayweather had been banned from the country in the past, following their domestic violence convictions. Now the ban applies to all foreign visitors or residents who have been found guilty of violence against women or children.

Even convicted domestic abusers who already have visas and are living in Australia can be kicked out under the new rule. The government is using the rule, which took effect on February 28, 2019 to send a message to domestic violence perpetrators.

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A mom describes her tween son's brain. It's a must-read for all parents.

"Sometimes I just feel really angry and I don’t know why."

This story originally appeared on 1.05.19

It started with a simple, sincere question from a mother of an 11-year-old boy.

An anonymous mother posted a question to Quora, a website where people can ask questions and other people can answer them. This mother wrote:

How do I tell my wonderful 11 year old son, (in a way that won't tear him down), that the way he has started talking to me (disrespectfully) makes me not want to be around him (I've already told him the bad attitude is unacceptable)?

It's a familiar scenario for those of us who have raised kids into the teen years. Our sweet, snuggly little kids turn into moody middle schoolers seemingly overnight, and sometimes we're left reeling trying to figure out how to handle their sensitive-yet-insensitive selves.

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