Friday, March 5, 2010
Yesterday, on a return from a mid morning coffee run I began to notice a sprinkling of school aged kids, scattered about the neighborhood (I live in the "hood"). As I continued to drive the more pronounce the street presence of these black school children became. I began to count them in my progression and by the count of eight I searched for reasons that might explain only remembering the school buses I saw running their usual schedules. At a head count of 12 and a block from my house I spotted number 13 on a shooter, black hooded, male black, approximately 11 years old and I just had to stop. I carefully pulled up curbside, let down the window and asked, "Hey, little man, is school opened today? He answered yeah, with hesitation in his voice. I pressed on, "so why aren't you in school?" He came right back with "I missed the bus and my momma didn't feel like taking me." I'm sitting there drying my teeth in disbelief almost told the kid to go get your books and I will take you, but decided against it for fear of being labeled a kidnapper. If it truly take a village to raise a child, Why are the village children roaming the street during prime learning time, while the elders are driving around clueless? This is an issue President Obama's education initiatives can't help if we the elders aren't holding up our end of the deal. Ironically, the "village to raise a child" proverb's origin is Africa and as descendents of Africa some could call us hypocritical in our finger pointing and blaming of a education system/schools that we can't facilitate getting our children to answer "present" when attendance is called. What can we do to do better in this area? Many of the actions require no funding, but discipline and will. Is this worth doing or will we leave this for the “good white folks” to do for us and blame them later for trying?