Inspirational and thought-provoking messages informed by my faith, ministry in education and community development
Unimaginable Danger in Schools
As we march towards the end of the school year and the anxiety of parents flirting with school for their children’s attendance next year, I am reminded of a conviction I have held strong since 1979. That is, schools are potentially one of the most dangerous environments a parent can place their children in.
Beyond the ball on the playground, the finger smashed in the door, even the gravel or a self-inserted object inside innocent nostrils and ears, there are even greater dangers.
Undoubtedly, the past two decades have been saturated with research, experimentation and politics surrounding school choice. We have experienced an explosion of gimmicks with campuses taunting educational excellence. A common mantra on the campus of St Philip’s School and Community Center is educating a child is not a rehearsal. Next to the introduction of your child to Christ, providing your child with the best possible education is the highest level of parental responsibility outside of fulfilling basic needs.
We encourage parents to dive deeply into the seriousness of school selection for their children. A school’s reputation, curriculum analysis, graduation rates, faculty retention and test performance are not a deep enough dive into determining the place that will shape or potentially reshape your child’s life. We encourage parents to submerge themselves beyond the superficial examination of the schools they are considering enrolling their children. There can be unimaginable danger in schools.
In the history of America, the dangers for our children in schools have never been greater. Assaults, shootings and stabbings are awful; however, they pale in comparison to the greatest occurrences of childhood devastation inflicted in schools and often by schools. Self-esteem, self-identity, self-belonging and personal worth top the crushing dangers that lurk in our private and public schools. The unpopular, unspoken truth about how our schools, second to households, are the leading genesis for current and delayed death by suicide. This issue is in the forefront of victims who are African American children. Many of whose parents sought the best schools and selected those schools with minimal diversity.
Prayerfully in this season (hopefully not temporary) of heightened emphasis on mental illness, there will be concentrated attention directed to the impact schools have on lives far beyond their ABC's and 123’s. Our schools must acknowledge that teaching tolerance and character traits lack the ammunition needed to combat the societal, technological, immoral forces that nest themselves within our schools.
As we move into another enrollment and re-enrollment season, I urge parents to dig deeper into “tasting the CULTURE of the school.” Choose schools S M A R T L Y BY MAKING SURE TO SELECT SCHOOLS THAT ARE:
Strategic in initiatives to advance innovative, inclusive, compassionate, yet aggressive instruction
Morally based in mission and core values
Accepting of the mantra and modeling of “you belong“ for every student
Relevant and robust in instruction towards truths of history’s past, present and future possibilities
Trustworthy and talent-packed faculty and school leadership
Loving...........1 John 4v8
Yoked with your spirit and family values leading you to believe and feel YOU Belong
I remain grateful for your leadership and wisdom that extends beyond what you do for St. Philips. There are lessons in your words for all to absorb.