Safer Schools Begin at Home

by Lisa Stamos


Barrington 220 is a tremendous school district. Outstanding teachers, counselors, and staff. Amazing resources and parents who are engaged in helping—things that other districts can only dream of. There are countless opportunities for students, and a wonderful new superintendent who is leading the district to a safer place for all learners. Yet, it seems the rest of our larger community culture needs to play catch-up, because there continues to be serious, culturally-related problems for some of our students—problems that prevent them from enjoying school, making friends easily, learning well, or in some cases, even walking through the front door.

When it comes to the negative behaviors that include bullying in all its forms, we should realize that our schools don’t create this culture, condone it, or teach it—in fact, they are as much the unfortunate recipient of its constant drain and pain as that which affects the children within our community daily while at school, on the bus, on the playground—everywhere.

As a parent of students who have attended several Barrington 220 schools, I know this culture all too well. Yet I remain more hopeful than ever, under the leadership and guidance of Brian Harris (left) and his school teams, that we can pull together to do better as a caring community and most importantly, as healthy role models. Let’s rebuild the safety net as a community—one family, neighborhood, and school at a time. This effort, and all that demonstrates respect and kindness, starts at home. What we model to our children goes right into the schools and there, plays out—and if negative, causes discouragement, faith-shaking moments, confusion, hurt, and sometimes disastrous results. Everyone is negatively affected—the bullies, the bystanders, and the bullied, as well as our school personnel.

Our children, especially as they enter middle school and beyond, need us to remain engaged and loving as parents—at this age more than ever—which is tough, because this is the time the push-away from mom or dad begins. Our children are precious and need our support at all times; no act of kindness or respect goes unnoticed. I hope you will follow Barrington 220’s lead and make a difference with your actions, wherever you are.

In this issue you’ll meet Bill Palmer, who we honor as our Quintessential Person. For Barrington High School students who need a caring, trusted, and authentic helper to make it to the finish line, he’s the one. Bill has a remarkable set of qualifications that make him one-of-a-kind, and we are lucky to have his talent and dedication in our midst.

We recently wrapped up our summer internship program with a group of high school and college students. They are impressive young people who made the effort to join QB for some training, to learn new skills, and how to understand the workings of a media company. I hope you enjoy their “Wildly Personal Essays” in this issue.

There is so much more great material in the pages ahead. We love to thank our advertisers who make Quintessential Barrington possible. Please keep them in mind when you go to market.