Alonso asks for help

Bravo to Andres Alonso, Baltimore's schools superintendent, for launching a campaign to recruit 500 volunteers to work in the city's schools. It's one of his smartest responses to last week's horrible teacher attack (his other was declaring "zero tolerance" for that sort of violence). Alonso's spokesman says that "people want to help, and they want a concrete way to help."

Indeed. To be sure, Baltimore needs a broad-based, systematic approach to solving its discipline problems. (Consider that students have been expelled 112 times this year alone for attacking teaches.) But rallying parents and the larger community is smart. Perhaps Alonso, a long-time New Yorker, remembers the public's overwhelming interest in doing something to help after the 9/11 attacks. Or learned from the Bush Administration's failure to enlist the public in making sacrifices or performing community service in a time of war. Whatever his thinking, it shows great leadership to turn an awful incident into an opportunity for positive action.

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