It takes a village to raise a child

johnstarbucksThe traditional African proverb, “It takes a village to raise a child” has been widely quoted when examining the partnerships required during the maturation of our youth. Our “village” has never been more necessary than it is today. We live in a face-paced, instant information, and pressure-packed world. Today’s children are faced with a myriad of both challenges and opportunities. Navigating parenthood can be a daunting undertaking – partnerships and supports are welcome and necessary to prepare our students for tomorrow.

We are blessed in Hilliard to have wonderful support, strong community partners, and a true village approach. It would be easy to spend time reflecting on all of the dangers that face our children today. It would be easy to want to build walls to keep our children protected from the world around us, but isolation won’t provide the tools to make future choice. We must work together, look out for each other’s children, and have the difficult conversations.

It takes a village to share Maria’s Message – to educate young people about the dangers of distracted driving. Dom Tiberi’s powerful message is a reminder to everyone – It is easy to feel invincible – it takes a village to continually remind each other to give the road our full attention while behind the wheel.

It takes a village to keep our children safe when they are playing in our neighborhoods, parks, and playgrounds. As neighbors we keep an eye out for the children playing outside, we build friendships and relationships with our neighbors, and we work with the local police to keep our community safe. We are proud to have great partners in our Hilliard Police Department and we work together to keep our young people safe.

It takes a village to have tough conversations about drug abuse and addictions with our teenagers. No one is immune from bad, life-altering choices. We must all look for potential dangers to our children. This means active listening to our children and always being aware of potential changes in behaviors, friends, and social activities. The recent Heroin Summit provided sobering stories of the dangers facing young people today.

As your school we are eager to be active partners; our mission is to prepare students for tomorrow. We are committed to active communication with our parents, to engaging strong partners within our city and in the central Ohio region, and to provide forums for education and sharing ideas. We can’t do it alone. You can’t do it alone. As a community . . . as Hilliard . . . we can work together to keep our children as safe as possible. It is the Hilliard Way.

Follow me on Twitter @drjcm and


  1. Heidi D. Conlon said:

    I have been thinking a lot these days about true community leadership as an administrator. I have read article after article, wanting to be enlightened about how to truly prepare for an administrative role…and then I read this article. You have inspired me in my first weeks of administration to reach out to the marginalized students and ask them questions about the school community. These are the students that I need to hear from. The students who may not stand out. Students who see things through another lens. By asking them about the community, I am bound to get a new, yet vitally, important insight into the school culture. Thanks for planting the seed in my mind which I hope will help support my village.

    June 29, 2014
  2. Lekeshia Cohen said:

    As a single mother with interests of becoming an ideal community advocate/leader within a small town, I must share the delighted pleasure I felt when reading this write-up. Thank you for pointing the way in a less fearsum way, but with more than enough bite to take hold of me and never be shaken free from this needed dedication.

    August 3, 2014
  3. Mike Jones said:

    No discussion of education is adequate without mention of Esperanto. Esperanto can greatly help young people do the thing that young people want to do most: meet other young people.

    October 16, 2014
  4. Jesse said:

    It takes a village.

    I’ve lived in the same house all my life, I come and go as I please, I work in different states, so I tend to be gone more. People moved in next door, sweet couple, young, popped out a couple tots. Twice. How does that happen? Two sets of twins? Well, they have a lawn, and the homes are well spaced, rural setting. I have a pool. I had a pool since about 1998. I was required to install a fence of no less than four feet, in 2009, because they suddenly became incapable of restricting their children to their property. They didn’t ask me to install one, they made the township fine me for not having one. They didn’t tell me I needed one, when I obtained the permit to build it. So, I had an 8′ wooden fence installed, completely around my property. I left about an acre outside the fence, all around, it cost me $17,692.00…

    I work in California and Nevada at Trauma Centers as an Trauma Surgeon. I’m single, I’m female and I’m not a Lesbian – if you were wondering. I’m home two weeks in December, two weeks in April; and the entire months of June, July, August & September. My job allows that. This is how I’ve chosen to live, literally in the middle of nowhere in Pennsylvania and California. I live where-ever it’s warm. Few people, in PA, know what I do. I have a few friends that come up and summer with me. Also in the medical field.

    Last summer, 2013, one of said children wrecked a motorized scooter in the road. It wasn’t that bad. One of my friends seen it and went out, another took a medical bag, and I went out. We gave aid till the ambulance arrived. I hold a certification as a nationally registered EMT-Paramedic. I volunteer with them in the summer. The parents knew this, but assumed I was just a driver. Suddenly, the parents realized I wasn’t in sales, and was actually a doctor.

    Nothing but problem neighbors since then. They always want to be on my property. “Hey, can you keep an eye on my kids while they play in your lawn?” – Well, what’s wrong with your lawn? ‘It takes a village, dear, and laugh as she walks away. Always with the damn pool, can we swim in your pool? Can we? Can we? Coming in the side gate, coming into my home. I finally had one of those retractable lawns installed to hide the pool, and had a huge deck and summer kitchen built. WWIII.

    Why did you cover your pool? All we asked was that you put a fence around it? I did… I had 1800 feet of wooden oak fence put up, to keep your children safe. Well, if they’re playing in your lawn? Okay. So, I replaced the gate, with solid fence, can’t even tell it was there. Only way in, through my house.

    Very next day. Door bell. Mother hen, and her four rugrats. Hey, is it okay if they play in your lawn?


    Well, it takes a village…. yeah.. about that. No. I don’t want to be part of your village. I want to come here, and enjoy myself, relax, I don’t have children because I don’t like children when I’m not at work. I want you to stay on your own property, and keep your kids there too. I’m tired of the “it takes a village” speech, whenever your kids damage my property, break windows, scratch my car, etc. Just go away.


    Code inspector shows up with a fine tablet.

    Officer Williams – Good Morning Dr. Alle……

    Me – (Cut in) Is there a leash law, Czar Williams?

    OW – It’s Officer.

    Me – No, it’s Czar, because I seem to have lost my freedom to own the property which I pay taxes on.

    OW – I don’t understand.

    Me – Is. There. A. Leash. Law?

    OW – Yes, why?

    Me – Does it apply to children?

    OW – Laughs

    Me – I’m actually serious.

    OW – Uhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh. No?

    Me – To what do I owe the pleasure today?

    OW – We have a problem

    Me – Yes, I’d say you do. I’m not a Psychologist, but if you want to lie on my couch and tell me about it, I do have a note pad.

    OW – Hysteric laughter

    Me – Straight face, pissed off.

    OW – I need to see your pool.

    Me – Oh, by all means, come right in. (The pool is under the retractable lawn, can’t tell it’s there)

    OW – Where’s your pool?

    Me – I had it filled in when we built the deck (show him the permit, and fake receipt for filling it in)

    OW – Oh, well, (the bastard child family) said you didn’t have a fence around it.

    Me – I know, their kids kept trespassing after I put up the 8×1800 FOOT fence, so I filled it in. Besides, saves time cleaning all the shit out that they would throw in……………………….(long tirade of cursing and b*tching)

    OW – Open mouth, blank stare

    Me – What?

    OW – Yeah, she’s a winner

    Me – No f____ing crap

    – Enter parent

    Door bell

    Parent – How do you like the village now?

    Me – Go fuck yourself

    OW – I found nothing wrong.

    Parent – leaves

    OW – leaves

    Pennsylvania State Police show up

    PSP – The neighbor says you cursed at him

    Me – I’d like to charge them both and their children with stalking, harassment and trespassing – Just because I won’t let their children destroy my home. (Showed him emails, facebook messages, pictures of damage, reports from code inspections, letters to the editor in the newspaper, answering machine messages) All while the parent stood there, and then we walked out, and I showed them the classy no trespassing message..

    Parent – All this, because she doesn’t want to help raise our children, she has the means.

    Me – Oh come off it. You’re insane.

    PSP – wow.

    Parent – This is a free country, I’ll do whatever I want, and so will my kids. (Kid picks up a rock and tosses it at my roof, breaks sliding glass window)

    PSP – Arrested the psycho a$$ mother.

    Me – I sued them and moved.

    You can take your village and shove it.

    November 12, 2014
    • Erin said:

      I have 2 kids and I use to hate kids before I had them. While I am all about ‘it takes a village’, I feel that only applies to those that are interested in raising said children. Why on Earth would I want someone that doesn’t want to be around my children to raise mine?! That makes no sense! Also, I have no room to speak on the matter as I am socially inadequate and avoid social situations like the plague!
      Bottom line! Right on! I am with you. Trip them bitches on the way out! Damn tripping hazards!

      April 20, 2015
    • Teresa said:

      Wow…you were seriously victimized by this family. Thank you for sharing. I for one have a different spin on the It takes a village concept. In today’s world clearly it is not at all like it used to be. I too take my home, my privacy, and my right to relax very seriously. I’m a therapist and being able to come home to a peaceful, interruption free zone at the end of the day is priceless. My neighbor’s kids climb my fence without regard, but a few good harsh looks on my part worked well to remedy this problem.

      I believe that now the village concept has more so to do with schools, community agencies, and businesses that collaborate to help children with education, social correctness, and occupational endeavors. I hope that you have tranquility in your new place.

      May 8, 2015
      • Marie said:

        It didn’t take a village to “make” the child. Why should it take one to raise it.

        November 6, 2015
      • Eunice said:

        This proverb means any elder is a parent to any child , if you see a a boy or a girl doing something wrong or being disrespectful , you should not look the other way and say that’s not my son or daughter you are to correct , or get the name of the parent and go and report to their parents , when I was growing up we were taught to respect any elder , man and women treat them like your own parents , or uncle or aunt , some of them they would even discipline you and then tell your parents , then your parents will discipline you again because you have shamed them. Even at school teachers were part of the raising of a child because we spent more time in school . I know now there is laws , that prevents children discipline .

        August 13, 2016
    • Robin burke said:

      Seem to me your using your personal issues to relate to the statement but did you ever consider you were once a child and am sure you weren’t a perfect one just by your writing . sorry you had a bad experience with your neighbors but to actually hear someone say they hate children especially when you were once a child yourself but I guess is easy to forget when we have a cold and bitter heart. I can see why you don’t have many friends. Don’t know who hurt you in your life but all people are not the same and its easy for us to see the faults in everyone else and magnify their flaws but have you ever thought to take a look at the man/woman in the mirror I promise you , your going to fall short

      February 5, 2016
    • Syndi said:

      I don’t believe Jesse’s story. I think it is entirely fabricated. I think she made the whole thing up. Sad that you would impose on someone’s blog like that. You need help.

      February 14, 2016
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