Local Freeport Man Wants Positive Influences Within our School, And Here’s His Suggestion on Accomplishing It

Freeport, Illinois — In light of the recent events that took place at Freeport High School this past Friday, where multiple fights broke resulting in multiple student arrests and overall public hysteria, one local Freeport resident is making a call out to the community, to take action and do something positive about it.

Ryan Shirley of Freeport wants to help our students but he doesn’t want to help with a new program or some state funded curriculum, Shirley is pressing the community, right here in Freeport to step up.

“We’ve already blamed the parents, students, the staff, and whomever else we could think of” Shirley wrote on his Facebook page. But what’s next he asks.

“If we think about it, a lot of us were “raised right”, but still made some bad decisions” he notes but says that didn’t stop him from doing things he probably shouldn’t have done in his school days.  But yet Shirley was just recently honored as one of Freeport’s Small Town Heroes.

While he admits he may not have the absolute solution, he does have a few suggestions.

1. If we want our youth to “be” better, we have to be and do better.
2. Improve communication on all fronts such as staff, parents, students, clergy and Ryan says have some real life, uncomfortable conversations.
3. Remove this mindset: “Not my child, not my problem”.
4. Volunteer

We don’t know what school life was like when you went to school but we remember back in the 80’s at every last day of school. During each year during every senior school year there were threats and a lot of talk about huge fights that would happen on the last day of school. Hundreds of students would gather at the corner of Pretzel Stadium by Empire and Moseley. Many times, fights between 5-10 people would break out. Boys and girls too.

Like now, where were the parents, the community, the aunts and uncles of these students?

Shirley says “we know the students”.  He says if we as a community are there and students see our faces and understand by our involvement in their lives that we genuinely care about their education and safety, chances are this type of issue wouldn’t happen.

By we, Shirley says he means all of us because, as he says, that’s ultimately who it is up to. Us, the parents, pastors, ministers, retired teachers, off duty firefighters, grandparents, aunts, uncles, small business owners…


Shirley says “we can make it happen if we really want to” and has challenged the public to join with him. Shirley says he’s even willing to coordinate with the principal himself, so everyone can get started.

We’d like to know what you think.

These kinds of problems ultimately become all of our problems. We’re a part of it whether directly involved or not, these events and life situations affect us. Would you support a more community wide effort to be more engaged with our local students? Would you get involved yourself.

Thoughts, comments feel free to chime in.

You can reach Mr. Ryan Shirley on his Facebook page here.



17 thoughts on “Local Freeport Man Wants Positive Influences Within our School, And Here’s His Suggestion on Accomplishing It

  • October 25, 2017 at 12:40 pm

    I understand where you are coming from, but what I can not understand is why this generation of children are so full of hate. I don’t care attitude. I think we as parents and grandparents have done too much for this generation. We wanted their lives to be better so we gave and gave they did not learn the work ethic. You don’t see kids now days mowing lawn ,shoveling snow, raking leaves, helping in the garden, etc. they are sitting where ever plying on their phones or what ever electronics they have. I also think the staff and the teachers need to have more conversations with their students. Now the teachers tell them how to do their work one time and then say figure it out. I have 2 grand children in this school system and what I have been hearing is very scary. these children will some day run this country . We as a community needs to step up to the plate and start teaching right from wrong.

    • October 25, 2017 at 4:30 pm

      They are filled with hate because that is our society today. You only have to read the paper or the tele to see that. No respect for authority or elders. Republicans so hateful during eight years of O, now democrats with Trump. It never ends and they learn from us.

      Our kids have chores with mowing and snow removal both at home and at grandparents but when they go out to see if they can mute or snow shovel for others it is usually hired out. Plus what if they don’t do it correctly? People are very litigious-that is always a factor.

      I believe everything -EVERYTHING- starts at home.

    • October 25, 2017 at 6:33 pm

      Deleana Atz I am glad that your children have parents that care and make them do chores but I do not see this in my neighborhood. There are elderly people on my block that I see out doing sidewalks in the winter. and the kids just walk right on by them. Don’t even ask if they can help or do them . I get very upset with this younger generation. I do have 2 young men in their teens that does my yard. But no one comes to offer to do my side walk in winter.

    • October 25, 2017 at 6:38 pm

      Diane Hans our kids are twins that are freshman at FHS, and an older son who is a sophomore. They are all in band, jazz band, choir, all FHS swimmers and one XC plus Showtime choir, plus church and club swim. They are busy but it is what they want. Our rule is that you have to finish what you commit to. But they still have expectations on household duties -cleaning inside and out of the house and cooking -and obviously grades.

    • October 27, 2017 at 12:51 pm

      Deleana Atz No we are at the other end of town. We are on Benton Ave, not Benson ave. we are 3 blocks from Martin Luther King Center.

  • October 25, 2017 at 3:17 pm

    Sounds good, but the school has only so many hours…their job and time is limited. It all starts at HOME with parenting AND discipline, which is a 24-7 job, exhausting actually, but there it is.

  • October 25, 2017 at 11:31 pm

    I’m sorry but i got my ass whooped if I did something wrong or showed disrespect and with way DCFS is these days you are just supposed to put your child in a corner or ground them and that should teach them I don’t fucking think so. Now that I’m older I understand why my mother was so rough on me and disciplined me and I’m thankful for that she probably should have done it more but. And parents are afraid of their kids and didn’t set the fear of an ass whooping at a young age so now they think they can just step all over their parents when they’re teenagers and everything will be okay soon I’ll get a new PlayStation game or Xbox game or whatever to make up for things no no one knows the one these days no kids do any work they hardly have jobs they take everything for granted

  • October 30, 2017 at 2:17 pm

    I graduated in 1974, so I guess I am old. We didn’t have Social Media, let alone computers. What Freeport did have though was spirit. Jobs existed, factories were abundant. But, so was things to do. We had at that time not just the parks, there waa movie theatres, indoor and out door (The Bennis), and no less that 2 bowling alleys. Of course that was the Stock Car track. Downtown there was even slot car racing. What do the kids have today? Close to nothing a bowling alley and a theatre. Cruise nights are a thing of the past, as is “real” jobs. Freeport let the factories go away.. No more Structo, Burgess Battery (sold to Gould), (5)Micro Switch plants, Package Production (PPI), Western Newell, Kelly Tire, Modern Plating, Rawleigh’s and various others. There were family owned farms (real farms- not goats/bison) and owning frontal property is not a farm. Corporate farms bought out family farms, my relatives on 26 N forturnately for Merle and Helen they are long decease and didn’t have to see what their property became. Part of it is the 20 bypass, the rest now has road running thru it with houses. Part is now a lake. Grand old buildings were torn down or mysteriously burned down in Downtown Freeport, such as the Germania. There are reports on its condition before it went away. What do the kids have in Freeport now?

Leave a Reply