Barack Obama
Obama standing with his arms folded and smiling
44th President of the United States
In office January 20, 2009 – January 20, 2017
Vice President Joe Biden
Preceded by George W. Bush
Succeeded by Donald Trump
United States Senator from Illinois
In office January 3, 2005 – November 16, 2008
Preceded by Peter Fitzgerald
Succeeded by Roland Burris
Member of the Illinois Senate from the 13th district
In office January 8, 1997 – November 4, 2004
Preceded by Alice Palmer
Succeeded by Kwame Raoul
Personal details
Born Barack Hussein Obama II(1961-08-04) August 4, 1961 (age 55)Honolulu, Hawaii, U.S.
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Michelle Robinson (m. 1992)
  • Malia
  • Sasha
Relatives See Family of Barack Obama
Awards Nobel Peace Prize (2009)Profile in Courage Award (2017)

I want to help you cut down on violence in schools

Dear Mr. President,
Your recent talk to the American people about the growing violence among young people in schools touched me greatly. So much so, I am writing because I want to help. My work background makes me a good candidate to assist you in realizing your vision to do something to curb this horrible trend.
I am a child psychotherapist and have been working with children, especially young men, for over 35 years. I do a lot of volunteer work with men in an organization that trains men not to abuse others and to be great men. I have a wealth of knowledge that will be useful to you. It would be an honor to contribute to this cause and help the children of this country.
It is my professional and personal belief that children are experiencing a growing disconnect from their parents which is translating into a social challenge in schools. My wife and I have been home-schooling our sons for the last five years (they both spent time in public school first) and have noticed their confidence, knowledge base, and ability to relate well is directly connected to their relationship with us. Our days are not filled being “task masters” so that our children perform well in school and prove something that shouldn't have to be proven. We have every few arguments with them, yet we know we have their respect and love, while they know their always have our love and guidance. I want this for all families. Families should not be riddled with anxiety because of a child’s school performance and this anxiety shouldn't bleed into our children’s schools in the form of violence and bullying.
Schools have become a place many students – both “good” and “bad – do not want to attend. Teachers need more training in being connected to the kids they teach and how to get more out of them; parents need more training how to cope with their children and officials need to be empowered to make things safe for kids and families everywhere.
Let me know what I can do to help you in your quest to change the young person’s experience of growing up so it does not end abruptly due to another’s disgruntled experience and pain. Our cities and towns don’t have to go through the trauma of a major loss like Newtown or a suicide due to bullying. I am here to be of service to you, our children, and our country.

Mark Gofstein, MA,LMHC

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