I have been privileged to work as a teacher, counselor and now a principal in the Bellflower Unified School District for the last 25 years. Soon after I started, my wife and I moved our family into this community for two compelling reasons. First, Bellflower was a community that had a strong sense of identity and a commitment to the future. Secondly, it has always been important to me to be involved in the community I serve as an educator.
As an educator, I was always fascinated with the number of students I had whose parents had attended our schools and who intended to live here when they went out on their own. When I asked them why, the answers would always contain some reference to a feeling about Bellflower having this sense of a community with direction, and that the people here cared about them and their future.
As a community, Bellflower now seems to have lost that sense of direction and commitment to the future, and we appear to have given in to fear. Any conversation today about our youth will invariably include concerns about drugs, gangs and moral standards. We are concerned about the idleness of youth despite our investment in schools, park and recreation programs and youth organizations.