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Solution Paper #26

NOTE, 4-4-05. I have asked my Publisher to include his June 2000 “A Columbine P.S.” in our “Solution Papers” section as a way to add to our ongoing presentations of solutions to the problems of violence in our own city of Minneapolis and, in particular, in our schools. This, then, is our sense of “A Red Lake P.S.” We believe this is as relevant today for us and for Red Lake as it was then for Columbine and as it is for every school in America. We hope it will lead to preventative measures such that there will be no need for “A Minneapolis P.S.” See also our web log entries 2005/#s 39 and 37. See also our columns 2005/#4 and #6. See also m book, The Minneaplis Story, Through My Eyes, Chapters 7 (Education), #16 (The negative status quo), #17 (The Positive Future Possibilites for Minneapolis).

26: A Columbine P.S.
By Peter Jessen
June 2000

The Columbine school shootings occurred April 20, 1999, three days after the final draft of "The Terry Hitchcock Story" was completed. Like everyone else, we were stunned. As we followed the story, we realized that we had missed a significant application of the “marathons of life” theme. Yes, it applies to any individual, and yes, it applies to the individual students who have to run the K-12 marathon. But in reflecting upon Columbine and all of the work we have done with corporations, from start-ups to Fortune 500 companies, as well as our teaching at colleges and universities, it dawned on us that the theme applies to institutions as well. We write our “postscript” on the first anniversary of Columbine. We cannot allow ourselves to remain stunned into inaction. We have chosen to concentrate on education, as “Public-opinion poll after poll indicates that Americans’ No. 1 concern is education” (Newsweek, May 15, 2000).

A key question is whether or not there is a mechanism or model to follow which might enable all of those in society who have a stake in education to work together to create a dynamic resolution acceptable to all? The answer is, there is. Such model will be explored throughout the rest of this essay.


Overall violence among school kids is going down. Yet “isolated incidents” show how isolated we are not. Nine incidents the year before the Columbine tragedy, with 15 killed and dozens wounded impacted on thousands more. With nearly that many victims in one incident, at just one school, Columbine, it garnered far more publicity. And then just over a year after Columbine, a first grade boy shoots and kills a first grade girl with whom he had been arguing the day before.

The shooters at Columbine thought they could control life in death. Their fellow students now have to find control of the meaning of their lives. In the wake of these two shooters, countless thousands of schools have clamped down on all students. More than two dozen students at Columbine are “classified as homebound’ for physical and psychological reasons…so they receive their education at home.” Three are still in wheel chairs, while “many continue to seek therapy and religious counseling."

It has affected students’ studies and behavior, as “academically, a lack of an ability to concentrate, and the unpredictability of the students in the classroom,” where every two to three weeks “they’re off the wall and extremely difficult to handle.” What does this all mean? According to the Columbine principal, Frank DeAngelis, “It’s about not giving up, and that’s what Columbine High School represents.” Thus, he says, “It’s been a year of hills and valleys…we’re learning to cope.” And yet “he, like his students, faculty, and staff, is not about to give up (”Columbine: A Year of Tragedy and Triumph,” Mindy Sink, Upfront, a scholastic magazine by The New York Times, April 10, 2000, pp. 8-10).

How do they survive the shootings? How do they grieve and then get on with life? How do they, or any school with a shooting, deal with the pain and struggle, and survive? How do they survive the marathon of a year’s after shocks of emotions?

In his book, Man’s Search For Meaning (called "one of the ten most influential books in America" by a 1991 Library of Congress/Book-of-the-Month Club survey), Victor Frankl describes what he learned from his four-year experience in World War II German concentration camps. The survivors ran a daily marathon we can only barely begin to comprehend. Frankl’s basic point is that when we cannot enjoy life we must find meaning in our pain and suffering, and that, in the final analysis, each person is free to exercise the last freedom: the choice of attitude in responding to situations in life. Frankl’s book speaks directly to the Columbine tragedy in particular and to what society might do about it in general. Despite the horrors of life, he asserts, we can still find meaning in our lives, survive, and prepare each generation for the future.

He asks us to be alert in a two-fold sense: Since Auschwitz we know what man is capable of; and since Hiroshima we know what is at stake. Of all the highly publicized school shootings, Columbine has captured the attention of society far more than any other violent school tragedy has. As we look at the bodies of dead students, we recognized that we too have to be alert in another two-fold sense as well: Since Columbine we know what some students are capable of; and since the responses to it, from all sides, we know what is at stake.


April 20, 1999 tells us that in addition to the Ides of March we have the Agonies of April, as Columbine shares its infamous month in history with Martin Luther King, Jr.’s assassination, the Kent State shootings, the last U.S. troops leaving Vietnam, the Oklahoma City bombing, and a 1st grader shooting another 1st grader a year after Columbine. Most of these had one thing in common: young people involved in violence and tragic deaths.

21 students wounded. A dozen students and one teacher slaughtered by two fellow students who then slaughtered themselves. So few, these two, yet they affected so many: individuals, families, communities, states, nations, the world. How? By squandering hopeful optimism, closing not only themselves off to the possibilities of the future, but also the possibilities and dreams of their fellow students and the dreams of their teacher. These two youth had so much to live for, yet could not stand to live. These two youth had so much and yet enjoyed it so little. These two students lived what many would call an enchanted life, yet, instead, felt disenchanted.

Columbine exposes us to the need to find a better a way to deal with the modern marathon of K-12 education, a marathon for kids, teachers, parents and society as a whole. And although it may be only a small fraction that won’t run in the marathon, their refusal to run, as evidenced by Columbine, can ruin the race for a great many others.

Our Youth and Education have become like a Rubik’s Cube: a seemingly innocent piece of color and brightness, yet being representative of intricate and many combinations of moves. How to get all in alignment? Many try. Few succeed. And yet, in life, as with the Rubik’s cube, any action taken sets off a set of reactions or chain reactions, for each spin of the horizontal or vertical squares influences all succeeding actions. So too with teenagers and education. How can we solve the teenagers and education puzzle, a puzzle that begins before Kindergarten, a puzzle, which is, but the first of a series of puzzles encountered in life by all?


• How can we better prepare our kids and their adults (parents and teachers) to successfully run and complete this K-12 educational marathon?

• What will be the future of education, public and/or private, tax payer and/or voucher supported, neighborhood school and/or school choice, local and/or state funding, individual efforts and/or collaborative, whole language and/or phonics, direct instruction and/or discovery learning, developmentally appropriate practices and/or learning style customization? What is meant by education and how are its institutions (from teachers colleges, to government education departments, to school boards, to the schools themselves), to be evaluated?

• How do we deal with a traditional system of set, unchanging structures in a world that is rapidly changing?

• How do we deal with an education work force schooled before modern communications, the Internet, and globalization?

• How do we deal with teenagers in terms of rapid change in the midst of timeless truths and values that have not changed?

• How do we answer the perennial questions to which all seek a resolution: How will we fund education?

• What shall we teach? How should it be taught?

• Finally, how do we answer the haunting question of whether or not there can be “safe” schooling? And on a broader level, we can ask “From Columbine to Where? What next?”

In terms of the schools, what is their mission in our society? What method should they use to peacefully and happily coexist and serve with the rest of society’s institutions? What means exist to resolve the conflicts and reduce if not eliminate future Columbines? We believe that only the institutions of education interacting with the other institutions of society can we, together, adequately answer and resolve these questions and problems. This is why we propose that educational, social, and business institutions engage in another marathon of sorts-a conflict resolution, mission and development method marathon, with the runners being all of the involved individuals and institutions, to find, to use Justice Felix Frankfurter’s phrase, a “binding tie of cohesive sentiment.” We call this for short, the "SCHOOL MISSION MARATHON."

We recommend these 18 conflict resolution models in general and, in particular, of those, the establishing in schools of a peer mediation program as one of several ways to eliminate the sense of helplessness. We recommend school minimally consider these five models of the 18 referred to:

  1. Conflict resolution chart of Ken Thomas’ empowered negotiation
  2. 2 x 2 probability of outcome matrix of Mary Pipher
  3. Using “self-talk” and the CO2RE/LEAD formulas to raise Adversity Quotient (Paul Stoltz) to enable “Learned Optimism” to overcome “learned helplessness” (Martin E.P. Seligman
  4. “Managing Conflict for Individual & Team Success At Home and At School,” by Sam Imperati and JoAnn Houck
  5. Use of Lists/Recipes to Empower both sides, making sure that, in Donald Meichenbaum’s word, all that can be is ‘negotiable"


K-12 education is a long, collective marathon in a manner in which post high school education is not. This one 13-year marathon is broken down into three “shorter” ones: K-5 or 6 Elementary School, 6-8 Middle or 7-9 Junior High School, and 9 or 10-12 High School. Not all finish. The very fact that one in four who start high school do not finish should alert us to the phenomenon that increasingly, students are suffering from a “learned helplessness” (Martin E.P. Seligman, Learned Optimism: How to Change Your Mind and Your Life, Pocket Books, New York, 1990).

Others are forced to play on an uneven playing field of resources between school districts that adequately fund, under fund, or are over funded. Historically, people had ascribed status: status assigned them at birth, so that if they were born into the upper or privileged class, they stayed there, and if they were born into the poorer classes they stayed there as well. The modern child grows up knowing that regardless of his or her station at birth, it is possible to achieve one’s dreams if one learns how, which means, get a good education (although studies show that the more affluent one’s parents the greater the chance of acquiring a higher education).

Many self-improvement books continually repeat as almost a mantra: leaders are readers, which is also the key to good writing. Skills in both are acquired through the educational process. When General Douglas MacArthur was asked what the most important skill of a soldier was he answered, “being able to write.” Biographers note that General Dwight D. Eisenhower’s advancement came because he was able to write clear reports from wherever in the world he was sent. Biographers have likewise noted the sense that a key reason for promoting General Ulysses S. Grant was his ability to write (and his commander in chief, Abraham Lincoln is considered by his biographers the best writer to hold the office of President). All of these individuals read. And what is the key skill needed in any profession? The ability to present oneself in writing, in speaking, and in person.

Napoleon also insisted on clear writing. Outside his tent sat his Army’s idiot. Any orders written for his Generals had to be shown to him first. If he didn’t understand the orders they had to be re-written. General George Patton was not like the tall, deep voiced actor George C. Scott who played him in the movie. He was short, very slender, and had a high-pitched voice. But he was a reader. He could write. And the depth of his education enabled him to lead as few others have.

At the bottom of all of this is education, whether it is Abraham Lincoln learning by reading by the fireplace or public schools being made available to everyone or citizens with special views establishing private schools or generals being sent to the elite school of West Point. Education was and is the key. The GI Bill enabled thousands to get a college education after World War II, just as the great need opened up.

An even greater need exists for the 21st Century to have students educated in the technological, and the academic, in order to meet society’s needs for 21st Century workers for the Information/ Internet/Bio-tech century. Regardless of what one thinks of public education as an institution, education as a process is central to survival in the 21st century, both professionally and personally. It is also the key to social mobility in modern society.


The classical sociologist Max Weber coined the term “The Iron Cage,” his name for the routinized existence of modern times, a condition of necessity to deal in an orderly way with huge numbers of people and complicated technological equipment (see The Iron Cage, by Arthur Mitzman, Grosset & Dunlap, New York, 1969)). He lamented the loss of enchantment in the world, and called for a re-enchantment of the modern world. Before modern times, most enchantment came through religion.

The schools, working on an almost totally secularized basis have taken away this avenue of enchantment from not only their students but themselves. Lack of funding has shut down many of the secular forms of enchantment, such as drama, music, physical education, and other electives.

The terrible and tragic consequence of not having activities that enchant, such as a wide range of electives, art, PE, etc., is that too often, in their search for enchantment, students seek enchantment in chemicals, violence fantasies, guns, or other forms of unacceptable behavior.

The arts, including music and drama. P.E. and all the rest, are needed not only to help give students a complete education, but also to enable them to mentally and emotionally attack the core academic courses refreshed, with a sense of knowing that after all of the hard work of repetitive studies, they have a place to go to re-enchant themselves and be happy to be there.

As parents, we have heard students and parents and teachers talk about how if it weren’t for electives, some students would not stay in school.

Indeed, we have two types of students. Those who come for the academics and discover the joys of the electives, and those who come only for the electives and, in the process, are guided toward learning academic basics as well.

In another recent article in The Oregonian, we read that many students have said, “The bonds that art and music can create within a school are special, perhaps unique,” that, as stated about one school, “choirs bring pride and ‘esprit de corps’ to a school that doesn’t always triumph on the grid iron…" Thus, there are those for whom it is choir (or other art or music) that “helps keep them on board.” And yet schools are often reducing or cutting them out completely (with some elementary school even cutting out recess).

One could conclude that eliminating electives and extracurricular activities undermines the very academic goal sought in the new requirements. Conversely, keeping them helps the schools’ efforts to achieve learning by the students in a peaceful/orderly manner.

“The times they are a changin’.” Generation Y has been identified as those between the ages of 13 and 19. They equal, in number, the baby boomers. It took 15 years to produce the baby boomers. It has taken only 6 to produce generation Y. Things are going to get very interesting, very complicated, and very messy. This is why we urge developing a joint “School Mission Marathon” process to address these issues.

The boredom of the routine needs to be relieved. Electives relieve. Most adults get training time, conferences, etc., all things away from their routine, hence, by any definition, enchanting. We could extend our discussion by urging that we have motivational and uplift assemblies for our kids, not fewer assemblies. Bottom line: alcohol, tobacco, other illegal drugs, undesired behavior, etc., become defacto enchantment without other choices and electives.

Finally, how do we deal with the disenchantment of seemingly tolerated school teasing or hazing that some feel is part of the growing up process and not to be stopped? How do we deal with the statements of the fellow students of the Columbine killers (”It Still Hurts: For Columbine Students, The Struggle isn’t Over,” Mindy Mink, Upfront, [a scholastic magazine provided for classrooms by The New York Times]. April 10, 2000, pp. 11-15) who admit, “When we were freshmen, the senior class used to be able to get away with a lot of stuff…picking on kids. Just pushing them around, teasing them. They did get teased. They did get persecuted a lot.” Now those activities get students expelled. “Fight or flight” still overrides “flow” for many kids. Just feeling insecure and afraid that one is going to be teased, let alone physically bothered, shuts down the cerebral cortex and prevents learning. This is why, empirically, biologically, brain wise, it is important that school all be a "PEACE ZONE".


Kids today are Internet and computer savvy where their parents are not, who in turn were TV savvy but their parents were not, who in their turn were radio savvy whose parents were not. Before that, change was slow. Now it is rapid. The Internet has the technology to harness entertainment and education (sometimes combined as “edutainment”).

This information cracking plant for the future will feature hands-on and distant learning in a new kind of schoolhouse, which will still, virtually, serve the old school houses as they transition to the new kind of information schoolhouse for the 21st century. Where does the "PEACE ZONE" reside? This is why a communty wide "family meeting" of all the "stakeholders" to dialogue to generate the responses needed to answer that question.

It is like turning the fable of the tortoise and the hare on its head. It is not so much competition as it is complementary collaboration and cooperation. The Internet is the hare. The school building is the tortoise. We believe the key is to blend the speed of the information economy and the fast moving nature of high tech discoveries/inventions and development with the slower moving nature of the bricks and mortars of schools, in order to keep up with fast paced change with minimal disruption and maximum cost effectiveness.

The hare is unstable but fast. The tortoise is too stable and can hardly move. Together, they compliment each other; one brings stability, the other the dynamic of rapid changes in both technology and content.

Here is a list of considerations and questions for schools and their communities and families to develop together:

• How do we compare ourselves to the past, when, for example, according to a NPR radio program, in 1997 Los Angeles experienced only 33 homicides per 100,000 people, whereas in 1855, in the same city, the number was whopping 414 per 100,000 people?

• How do we bring closure to the issue? Media headlines insist that although Columbine is forever changed by rampage, no closure exists, and that despite the tragedy a year later, rational debate about violence remains as unresolved as ever.

• How do we deal with what students say, as reported by them to state attorney generals that violence is mostly influenced by their homes? o How do we deal with the situation that “with the prevalence of single parents, two-career families and 60 hour workweeks, much of the ‘raising’” of children is done outside the home?

• How do we answer the comment by the Kabit-Zinns, in their book Everyday Blessings: The Inner Work of Mindful Parenting, when they say that today’s problems “are staggering and all-pervasive, and are creating a society in which it is increasingly difficult for families to raise healthy children”?

• How do we factor in the reality that many have thrown in the towel with kids, that, as Molly Ivins reported that Public Agenda, a public policy research group, in a 1997 poll, discovered that “we don’t like our own children” and: “80% of us think it is uncommon to find parents who are good role models for their children”?

• How does this square with the constant comment of many that either the schools should provide parenting or who accuse the schools of producing behavior in students, which was actually produced at home?

• How is the overall educational system to be dealt with when there are so many conflicting “solutions” proposed:

• Do nothing; o Lock schools down with metal detectors, locked doors, armed guards;

• Profile every student regarding risk potential and either counseling them or putting them in special schools;

• Increase self-esteem training;

• Re-evaluate and restructure education, either within the system or outside the system (independent charter schools, vouchers, for-profit education alternatives, etc.); or

• Focus on the teachers unions, to either eliminate them or increase their authority and responsibilities.

• How do we reconcile those who do or don’t believe in our country (a split that developed in the 60’s)? How do we begin to find a middle ground on which all can stand, for the sake of the kids of America? .

• What should be done about the fact that 800,000 times last year some student took a gun to school? More education? More incarceration? Or is there another solution?

• How was it possible for kids to take guns to school in the 50s, and still have them in college dorm rooms in the 60s, without incident, and not allowed them today for fear of incidents? What does this say about our growing relativism and tolerance of all cultures, and does our refusal to judge those who harm others and do not up hold human rights cause our school kids to follow suit with Columbines? .

• How can the enormous regulatory burden of the Federal Departent of Ecation be reduced, a burden which can account for 6% of a school budget just to kep up to dte with the paper work? Why do teachers need so much curriculum support? Would it be better for high schools to get rid of curriculum empires and replace classroom teaches with Ph.D.s in their field? .

• In a world where more and more are turnng to English s the ligua franca, should we not change bilingual education from a de facto permanent end and make it the means, instead, to a program of transition to a common language for all? .

• How do we deal with Ellen Goodman’s question of how to deal with post-Dr. Seuss books like "honey Bunny, Funnybunny," used in pre-school training in which the message is that nay kind of attention is good, even if it is the torment of teasing? Could this not sow the seeds of helplessness that lead to Columbines and other destructive behaviors? .

• How do we deal with research over 20 years showing that “large schools.don’t work for many children, or at least don’t allow them to reach their full potential,” so that we should build “more small schools, not fewer large ones, and…turn large schools into smaller ones"?

• How shall Jeff Greenfield’s comment and question to the Democratic presidential candidates’ debate at the Apollo Theater on February 21, 2000 be factored, as he asked: "in light of the different proposals, from revolutionary improvement to gradual improvement to public choice and private alternatives, how do you respond to this question: if, after 35 years and $100 billion in Title I money, with SAT scores gap not narrowing, why not conclude that the opposition to choice is an example of the support of special interests and not the interests of students? How do you defend and account for this incredible potential unfulfilled?”

• How shall those involved come to realize and act on the truth of one of the central tenants of W. Edwards Deming, which is that the problem is not people but the system in which they have to work. Change the system and you will solve the problems. In this light, Mary Walton’s The Deming Management Method is recommend. This is echoed by the best selling business author Ken Blanchard, who says that “People are not the problem,” as “most performance problems are not the fault of people, but of systems.” What does this say about how serious we ought to be at looking at the working of the “system” of education? This is also echoed by Robert Watts, as seen in the title of his book, People Are Never the Problem; People Have Problems.

• How can business help? What role should business play?

• There are those who don’t see how business can be a part of the discussion. Those still of that mind are urged to read the article by Bernard Avishai, ”What Does Business Owe Society?” Avishai demonstrates that all of us are stakeholders. Avishai, a retired CEO, calls for business and corporations to step up to the plate in this game we call education. His article answers his title question, “What Does Business Owe Society?” (4th qt. 1997 issue of Booz Allen’s “Strategy & Business”). His article speaks directly to our shared concerns. A favorite line in Avishai’s article is this, as it addresses most of our concerns succinctly: “Is it possible that what most conventional educators mean by the evaporation of their students’ self-discipline is that, given the experience of television, students no longer have the capacity to be bored to death? (p. 7)”

More points by Bernard Avishai:

• “25% of the current American work force is not sufficiently educated to be qualified for jobs that would pay enough to sustain the middle-class life” p. 4

• “this means that 10 or 20 or 30 million people—people with children, people hobbled by dullness and self-doubt, people who played by rules that simply evaporated from the time they were 15 to the time they were 35—are hard pressed to see a future.” p. 4

• “companies contribute to democratic solutions by remaining capable of creating the wealth shareholders and governments appropriate, not by taking on the responsibility of governments.” p. 5

• Taxes for education should be seen as a “necessary investment pool, not a redistributive levy on profits”, that they should not be seen as some anti-business tax, as companies can’t teach the basics, seeing public schools as being more like “specialized graduate schools than elementary schools.” p. 6

• Part of what companies can do: “develop teaching materials—theoretical articles, multimedia software, instructional films, on-line simulations and so forth—that reflect their peculiar competitive experiences and advantages. There is no reason why companies cannot market these products to school boards and universities, to new entrepreneurial teaching enterprises and to families.” p. 7

• About his prescriptions, Avishai says “I wish I could say that I expect other business leaders to adopt these attitudes before things get much worse. But I can tell you that many more will adopt them as things get worse.” p. 8

• In looking at the debates regarding religion in the school, how does Peter Berger’s notion that Americans are as religious as the people of India, whereas much of education is presided over by an elite as secular as Sweden’s?

• Lisa Graham Keegan, Arizona’s superintendent of Public Instruction: “Everyone is complicit in trying to make the education system look good without merit.” “This country is so content not to know the truth about its children, its horrifying.” [Arizona: the self-proclaimed “chicks in charge state,” where the Governor, Secretary of State, Treasurer, Attorney General and president of the State Senate are all women]

• Now that Internet access is almost universal (homes, schools, libraries, community centers), combined with much cheaper computers and electronic “appliances,” how do we structure the use of existing facilities such that the so-called “digital divide” is narrowed, not widened?

More Questions:

• How do we deal with the statistics of 1 in 4 High School freshman not completing their high school degrees, and two in three college freshmen? Are they like the teens in “Riding the Rails: Teenagers on the Move During the Great Depression”?Are our current drop outs merely a new version of these boxcar boys and girls and the desperation that drove them away from home? But then why now in an age of affluence? .

• How do we get kids to feel proud about and determined to contribute to what Georgie Anne Geyer calls “the real legacy of the 20th century,” which is the “many freedoms” we have, and to understand that the U.S. has spent the “American Century spreading liberty”, so as to bring the schools on board what Peter Berger calls carrying an agenda of “The Culture of Liberty”?

• How do we deal with the August 30, 1999 Business Week article entitled “Kids were right all along: High school is obsolete,” advocating ending it at 10th grade? (p. 146) .

• Who will usher in a school mission marathon? And if the reader participates, which of the six blind men examining the elephant does he or she represent? Can we not regain our sight, and see not only the parts but the whole, and in doing so, have a win-win for all?

We believe that educational, social, business, and government institutions must collaborate as stake holders in a "School Mission Marathon" to dynamically address the problems and needs facing our children and their education. For all our sakes, we must find some common ground upon which to reconcile some of the more horrifying realities with hope for the future.

April 4, 2005: Here are additional Solution Papers from this “Minneapolis Story” web site to use when discussing education and violence in the schools: that can contribute to finding this common ground:

# Posted Title
23. Dec. 2, 2003 The Blocks to Construct a Minneapolis Table for All to Sit At Together
22. Aug. 31, 2003 Seven Themes, Seven Problems, Seven Solutions
20. Oct. 24, 2003 Restorative Affirmative Action
19. Nov. 11, 2003 Higher Hopes for Youth Than Hip Hop
18. Nov. 11, 2003 ”Ubuntu” Reconciliation of Communities and Races, Oct 1-4
16. Nov. 11, 2003 A Question of Bigotry in Minneapolis, Sept. 8-11
15. Nov. 11, 2003 Remembering 9-11, September 11
14. Aug. 25, 2003 The Unfinished Dream
12. Jul. 21, 2003 NAACP Takes Eye of Prize
08. Jun. 03, 2003 Models for Conflict Resolution, developed 1998-2003
07. Mar. 2003 Ron Edwards: Whistle Blower of Minneapolis
05.   America Needs Black Newspapers
04. Dec. 2002 Enduring Through Music
01. Nov. 2002 The Economics of Racism

END NOTE, 4-4-05: This was originally written as an Appendix to Driven: A Story of Heroes, Dreams & 5-Million Steps. This is from the original draft. of 1999. The book has been edited several times since. Originally slated for publication in 2001, it has been edited several times since. It was originally set for publication in 2001, it is now slated as “forthcoming” in 2005. A film of the book is in development; a first draft script has been written.

Ron hosts “Black Focus” on Channel 17, MTN-TV, Sundays, 5-6 pm. Formerly head of the Minneapolis Civil Rights Commission and the Urban League, he continues his “watchdog” role for Minneapolis. Order his book, hear his voice, read his solution papers, and read his between columns “web log” at

Permission is granted to reproduce The Minneapolis Story columns, blog entires and solution papers. Please cite the Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder and for the columns. Please cite for blog entries and solution papers.

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