Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Education in Miss. America is still separate and unequal

Surprise, Surprise my friends. Education in America is still very far from being equal. My soul sister and I were on the phone talking today and she told me a tragic story that left me in tears, what a surprise right? She is volunteering at a school of mixed race in Washington D.C teaching curriculum to young students. When she first arrived to her classroom she was terrified. The students were unruly, disruptive, rude, and uninterested in anything she had to say. She considered not returning on several occasions. When she spoke with school officials about the classroom situations she encountered, she was informed that the class she was given was for the "bad students". The Bad Students. And it just so happened that all of the students in that classroom were Black. All of the other classrooms were mixed race, but the black students had been clumped into a classroom and labeled as the troubled students. Interesting?

When she decided to play the What do you want to be when you grow up game one girl exclaimed "I don't want to go to fucking college. I want to work at McDonalds" Random: " So you want to own your own's McDonald's right" Student: "No... I just want to work at McDonalds" and she stated this without a glimpse of laughter. McDonalds was her dream. For 8 out of the 10 males in the classroom, the NFL was their dream. For 9 out of the 10 ladies in the room, being a "model" was their dream. Not a doctor, scientist, lawyer, banker, professor, or president but a baller and a video girl. Interesting?

So you mean to tell me that in our lovely nation's capital we have schools were Black students are segregated into classrooms where they are labeled as failures and given no support from the school's administration in 2009. And let's not get on the topic of their parents because half of them are crackheads, prostitutes, in jail, or nowhere to be found. And do you think that these students are not painfully aware that no one believes in them? Oh but they are. As one student explained " I'm am not bad. I act like this because of the class that I am in and this is how they expect me to be." So now I start to ask questions.

Anyone who reads this and is not upset... please leave my blog and never return. If it does not upset you that the future seeds of this nation are being locked away in rooms where they are reminded that they are separate and unequal and will never amount to anything and you don't see any fault in that, our friendship should end. Right now.

I know some people can't relate to going home to no food on the table or a mother who is laid out on the floor because she spent the night snorting cocaine and getting raped by the man she brought it from. Only to return home in a state of confusion the next morning, forgetting to send her baby boy off to school. Or better yet, that little girl who is afraid to look at herself in the mirror after being raped by her father repeatedly yet she must walk 10 miles to school the next day and put a smile on for her teacher who belittles her intellect on a constant basis. Maybe you haven't been there so you can't sympathize. Or maybe you sympathize because you understand that an injustice anywhere is an injustice everywhere. So my people there are many injustices in our education system and something must be done for our children.

No longer should we except children being labeled as bad kids at such a young age and put in a classroom where they aren't able to access the same resources as their peers who are widening the achievement gap. Wouldn't you be a bit rebellious too if you were raising yourself and your sibling at the age of 8 with an abusive father who told you ever day that you would never amount to anything? Does that mean you don't deserve the right to an education in an integrated classroom with your peers? Does that mean in ten years, you will most likely be a statistic because no one cared enough to save you then?

Will this vicious cycle continue or will we stand up for our children who can not yet stand and demand that they be given chances. Demand that we hire teachers that actually give a fuck about the future of our children and not just about how many of his/her students pass the standardized test they are given each year. I know that I will be demanding that schools integrate different methods of reaching all the children in the classroom into the curriculum so that each boy and girl has a fighting chance. I know I will demand that principals not sit idly by as students cry out for help, in whatever manner they may do so. But hey... maybe I am the only solider on earth ready to ride. Maybe no one else cares. Maybe people are too busy concerned with their own success to realize that if one fails we all fail.

Shit maybe I'm being idealistic. Nope that's not it. I'm a realist and I get it. Do you? If so... do something about it. We are on the verge of losing an entire generation. I will not stop until I know I have done my part to ensure that this does not happen. And I ask, before any of us goes off trying to save the world... let's make sure we secure our home front. Trust there is a lifetime of work here to be done.

You don't have to agree with anything I've said, but if you have something negative to say please save it for someone who cares. My spirit is whole and I don't need anything broken in my circle.

Peace. Love. Happiness

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