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A One World Strong Program

Boston Teachers, Educators, And Law Enforcement Against Violent Extremism in Schools

Boston Tea Leaves, our program, has established partnerships with Make Our Schools Safe (MOSS), the Groundswell Project, and key stakeholders within the Boston City School System. This consortium of organizations and individuals is committed to promoting safety and security within Boston's educational institutions. By pooling resources, expertise, and knowledge, we aim to create a culture of safety that benefits all members of our community.

 

This initiative will utilize a trifecta model to address the rapid rise in violent extremism challenges in school settings, with a particular focus on misogynistic violent extremism and Racially and Ethnically Motivated Violent Extremism (REMVE). This model will consist of three components: School Resource Teams (SRTs), Community Threat Assessment Teams (CTATs), and City Engagement Forums (CEFs). The program will serve a total of 49,000 students, 4,500 teachers, and guidance counselors across 121 Boston Public Schools (BPS). 

The goal of this public health model is to improve safety and provide individualized support through psychosocial community-based referral mechanisms and life-skills mentoring for at-risk students. In each school, SRTs will be trained to support at-risk individuals and work with CTATs to implement tailored interventions. Each CTAT comprises of school representatives, local Community Mental Health Practitioners (CMHPs), police, community and faith leaders. 

Student interventions comprise of community-based local organizations, including CMHPs and one-to-one mentoring programs that bolster life and social skills in collaboration with local college students. Through this collaboration, the Boston Tea Leaves program will provide localized threat pictures across Boston, better City, State, and Federal CVE efforts, and enable community-driven recidivism reduction and reintegration.

How Does This Benefit the Boston Community?

 

  1. Three-Tiered Approach: School Resource Teams (SRTs), Community Threat Assessment Teams (CTATs), and City Engagement Forums (CEFs) are trained to act systemically to identify, intervene, refer, and manage cases.

  2. Reducing Extremist Threats: To identify and mitigate extremist threats, especially those related to misogyny and racial discrimination, in young people to create a safer learning environment.

  3. Truancy Reduction: The program aims to reduce truancy rates and increase access to education and protective factors by improving school safety.

  4. Local Collaboration: Collaboration between schools, local organizations, law enforcement, city officials, and other stakeholders will strengthen local threat assessment capabilities.

  5. Mentoring and Life Skills: Mentoring programs between BPS students and local colleges provide support, guidance, and life skills development, helping students build resilience and awareness of violence.

 

Why Boston?

In Boston, the issue of youth violence is an increasingly prominent concern as females as a share of homicide victims have increased from 3.6% in 2018 to more than 28% in 2021. With 12% of all female victims of simple and aggravated assault in Boston 2021 were aged 10-17. 6.7% were aged under 10. Sexual assaults within the 10-17 age range increased by 22% in 2021 compared to 2020.

The safety of schools in the city has become a concerning issue due to this prevalent trend. It's important to address this issue to ensure that all students feel safe and secure while attending school. By taking necessary actions and creating a safe and welcoming environment in schools, we can encourage all students to attend and benefit from the protective factors that schools provide.

truancy rates among students in Boston have significantly increased over the past few years. In 2019, the rate was 21%, in 2020 it rose to 29%, and in 2021, it has reached an alarming 42%. This trend of chronic absenteeism poses a significant problem as truant children are more likely to become victims or offenders of crime. 

Boston Tea Leaves will collaborate with the community, including schools, local law enforcement, and stakeholders to find sustainable solutions for Boston City Public Schools.

Countering Violence

To promote peace and safety, it's important to identify and address the root causes of violent extremism. We must acknowledge that people who commit or support ideologically motivated violence are often driven by personal, political, or social grievances. Addressing these underlying issues is crucial in building a more peaceful and inclusive society. Violent extremist ideologies can be based on politics, religion, or economics, among other factors. (Federal Bureau of Investigation, Countering Violent

Extremism Office, Washington, D.C.)

Youth violence is a critical threat to communities and schools countrywide, and schools are increasingly unsafe and dangerous spaces. These spaces have become breeding grounds for soliciting radicalization to violence. Misogynist incel and male supremacist ideology in school settings are not only gateways to racially and ethnically motivated violent extremism (RMVE) but have been deemed to be an extremist threat in and of themselves by the National Threat Assessment Center (NTAC).

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