The case for a father figure

Experts say having a father figure or male mentor can improve students’ lives

Sometimes a father figure makes all the difference in a young child's life, experts say.

Sometimes a father figure makes all the difference in a young child’s life, experts say.

Taliyah Pearson, Staff Writer

Have you ever wondered how much having a father figure or not having a father figure affects our community? Usually males who have father figures know how to become a man, but what about those who don’t have a father figure?

Do those who have a father figure most likely leave drugs, and gang activities alone, because they don’t need to feel accepted by others? Or do those that don’t have a father figure feel the need to shut out relationships, and turn to gang activities more than those with a father figure?

Some students at Cross Creek High like Dylan Hooks a 12thgrader said, “Having a father figure in my life helps me get through life easier, and it’s easier to talk to a man figure.”

Lawrence Sleurs another 12th grader at Cross Creek High said, “It’s good to have a father figure because my father teaches me how to become a man. I feel like without a father figure, I would have turned out bad.”

Lawrence said his dad taught him how to dress for interviews and he helped shape the way he is today.

Guidance counselor Mrs. Hall said that having a father in a student’s life can help keep him out of trouble.

“People without father figures tend to seek out illegal activity or they either don’t seek out relationships at all,” Hall said. “Because they may not see the value in them.”

“I think it could lead to a leaderless community,” Mrs. Hall added. “We need male students to follow male leaders so the male students can know how to lead a community.”

People without father figures tend to seek out illegal activity or they either don’t seek out relationships at all”

— Guidance counselor, Mrs. Hall

Chris Norris who is a part of the G.R.A.Y.S. Group, LLC, a counseling service, said a father figure is often the most important factor in a young male’s life. Norris runs the Positive Men’s Club at Cross Creek. The club reaches out to students who have difficult home lives.

 “A fatherless child could affect our community in a major way,” Norris said. “Anytime you don’t have a positive male figure in your life,” Norris said, “that could lead a child to seek out illegal activity, drugs, gangs, or violence.”

Norris also said in order to change our community, we should have more men step up as surrogate fathers.

“Children do not just need a father figure,” Norris said. “They need a positive father figure in their lives to teach them the right ways of life, to better our community.”