Parent Advocacy

I was forwarded a clip from Samatha Carter’s Facebook page which rings a chord with me – this Parent Advocacy Group sounds like it might be an excellent opportunity for some deep conversations and exploring ways to impact our community.

 

I am so inspired listening to Mrs. Patricia Avery speak at Unit 4 Pipeline to prison/ Social justice seminar. Tonight we talked about how much power our teachers have over OUR kids. More money being spent to house the incarcerated than educate, redirecting negative behavior instead of punishing, showing more empathy for living situations. Did you know some teacher criminalize OUR kids before they even get a chance at life simply by the way they dress? Topics that definitely needed to be discussed. ATTENTION PARENTS!!! We need ur help on forming a parent advocacy group. Minister Angel Johnson, Dr. Evelyn Underwood, Mrs. Patricia Avery, Mrs. Valarie Ammons and I will be organizing this group. We have to help make the change that is much needed in our schools. If you are serious about raising productive citizens for OUR community and not inmates for a prison…YOU WILL WANT TO BE APART OF THIS GROUP. GOD BLESS OUR KIDS!! More details coming soon..

 

Just to be clear, I am not certain I agree with everything in the post above, but that is the beauty of listening and learning from other people – we are all different, yet we are all special. I believe we share a common core intent – to improve the lives of the children in our charge, and I mean “other people’s children” (re, Lisa Delpit) as well.

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9 Responses to “Parent Advocacy”

  1. Karen Says:

    ‘Did you know some teacher criminalize OUR kids before they even get a chance at life simply by the way they dress?’
    What does this mean?? Kids are breaking public decency laws? Teachers have fashioned their own private branch of the law and charge kids with crimes for which there is no applicable public law?

    • charlesdschultz Says:

      @Karen, I do not think Ms. Carter will be reading these comments. Do you have any interest getting involved with the parent advocacy group and/or taking part in the ensuing discussions? That might be a better forum to get a better understanding.

  2. Karen Says:

    It’s difficult to get behind these sorts of initiatives when the claims made are seemingly questionable. What world are we preparing students for? Civil society, (I thought), which is rule-governed (majority rule, with protection of the rights of minorities—there has to be some ‘order’ of rule for a civil society to exist). Go ahead and ‘resist’ whatever you want, but, you must then accept the predictable consquences of doing so (instead of calling them unfair, ‘criminalizing,’ etc.). I can get behind initiatives that are ultimately of service to students. However, it is unclear to me whether or not this initiative is.

    • charlesdschultz Says:

      You and Laura Taylor should sit down and talk this out sometime; while you share some core beliefs (I think), your points of disagreement would be a very fascinating conversation. 🙂

      The way I see it, there are two worlds – the one we have, and the one we want. I think we are naturally always betwixt the two, first leaning one direction then the other. We can never be fully satisfied with the current because there is just way too much that is a complete Charlie Foxtrot, yet we cannot fully attain the Utopian world because, well, it doesn’t exist. But I believe that the vision of the second gives us incentive and impetus to change the first, hopefully for the better, and even more so, hopefully better for others.

      Even in the current reality that we have, there are still many different shards, many different slices that we all experience (eg, three blind men describing different parts of an elephant). Some people live lives marked by oppression, constant prejudice and having to always go uphill and upwind. Others dwell in a land of affluence, privilege and enormous opportunities. And there are many other different flavors, most intermigled and sharing qualities and backgrounds.

      Almost all our movies have an element of a “hero” who struggles (and for the most part is victorious) against some “bad guy” who wants to control the whole world and bend it to his will. I cannot think of a movie, and very few stories, that feature a benevolent dictactor.

      As I mentioned in my original post, I do not agree with everything said by Ms. Carter. The quote you pulled out about teachers criminalizing students is obviously overly broad and unfairly generic – it obviously a statement of emotion rather than fact. And yet, by our “rule-goverened” “civil society”, we have an overabundant representation of minorities. How did that happen? Isn’t that a bit fishy in and of itself?

      Yes, we all want to be safe. We all want what is best for our kids. We all want public schools to provide an excellent education experience for our charges. But we all differ on how exactly that looks, and how it is implemeted. How do you account for all those differences?

  3. Rebecca Patterson Says:

    We have a “divided society” where one half makes the rules that decide what behavior is proper so when the other half does something they deem culturally acceptable, be it dress, speech, or behavior there can be a lack of understanding. Both sides can hold things against the other. The kids are the ones who lose because they may be graded unfairly, learn to judge unfairly, become angry. It gets passed down where teachers remember past students, siblings, become angry, etc. Sometimes people don’t understand their feelings either, it’s been taught to them.

    • charlesdschultz Says:

      Hence Lisa Delpit’s quote at the end of her “Other People’s Children” book: “In order to teach you, I must know you.” In our day and age, it is challenging for teachers to truly know their students (for lots of reasons, most are out of their control). What would “education” look like if this were not true?

      • Rebecca Patterson Says:

        5th grade math, I could not understand my teacher at all. I just knew she hated me. She didn’t like me, hate may be too strong. My homeroom teacher tried all year to broker the peace but we just never figured it out. I never understood what she wanted from me. It finally clicked about 30 years later. I could look at an algebra equation and tell you the answer, I couldn’t tell you why I knew it. She couldn’t get that I was gifted in math. She was stubborn and insisted I just didn’t want to show my work, I couldn’t show it. When I was 28 I had a stroke and I can’t do math like I used to. One day it dawned on me she was trying to teach me the steps, the foundations. We couldn’t hear each other.

      • charlesdschultz Says:

        Rebecca,

        If this story from 5th grade stands out with such clarity in your mind, it must have been rather significant. You have teaching experience, right? Using what you know now, how would you work with a 10-year old Rebecca Patterson, a little girl who didn’t seem to get the idea of doing the intermediate steps?

        Thank you for sharing this personal story.

  4. Rebecca Patterson Says:

    No teaching experience, but a lot of time working with kids. One of mine is autistic, a granddaughter with asperger’s, a grandson who needs a diagnosis that I provided care for. He’s six now and probably autistic. What I found out is you need to see what the child sees and start from there. We have my grandson’s kindergarten report card where the teacher says he is struggling with reading. I had told her the first day of school he could read at a second grade level. She didn’t like him so she wouldn’t let him read ahead. He got things like “see Tom run”, so he ended up where he wouldn’t read. It was boring. One day he sees a 5th grader with a book and he asks for it for Christmas. His dad bought it for him. “Diary of a Wimpy Kid”. He read it in about a week so we thought maybe he just skipped around. He wanted the next in the series, read it too. He’s read book 4 in 4 days. He will keep reading it over and over until he gets the next one. He didn’t want school to know he was reading it. He didn’t want them to take them away. He didn’t want to be punished for being able to read better than the other kids in his class. What does that say when a 6 year old knows this?


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