PURSUIT OF GREATNESS: Our Youth. Our World. Our Future.
By Sharon Gray
Saturday School. Suspension. Referrals. Expulsion.
What do these entities have in common? They coexist in our public school systems. They are ultimately defined and denoted as consequences, absent of counter incentives, for our youth and in particular our young urban African American youth, distributed by public school administrations across the United States of America.
This is an epidemic in one of the most basic forms. Locally. Socially. Worldwide.
Knowledge is power. Our youth is our future—these statements are without a doubt the essence and underlying foundation of our society as it relates to the future—our future, people of color. Our examination, from an educator’s point of view, proves there is a necessity, more so an urgency for intervention—from our communities, our parental figures, parents, our churches, our social workers, our social groups, sororities, fraternities and general public.
Education should exemplify our youths’ accomplishments, their rich achievements; embrace their unique and alluring creativity versus using a figurative tourniquet for replacement with deadly, exaggerated, consequences from public school’s administration. By no means, public schools are purposely or maliciously given a negative review via this article; instead, the examination of policy and consequential methods for behavior modification is inspected for the sole purpose of positive elucidation from our community.
Positive reinforcement, as theorists confirms, is a powerful tool for our youth. On the flip side, studious students or students whom are mainstreamed for various special education needs should not be subjected to class disruptions and other deviant and unacceptable behavior. This, by all means, should constitute a consequence. The education process shall not be interrupted. Penalties are of a necessity when extreme cases arises, but, as educators have examined and statistics continually prove, these penalties are less likely to reoccur when they are combated and supplemented with incentives and positive reinforcement. There are solutions. We are the solutions.
All kids have a right to learn. Let us embrace and stronghold this right and give the highest and provide the most viable resources available for them—our kids, our youth, our future. There are solutions. There are interventions. We stand as a community, iron-gripped and build vigorously from the ground up to make our world a better place for our future.
Our youth, our seeds shall be watered in order for them to flourish and blossom, most beautifully and uniquely. We shall groom, enhance and promote their greatness as we, the community, the adults, the educators, the learners, the parents, the churches, the providers, will continue energetically and enthusiastically to push forward relentlessly in the pursuit of greatness. It starts with education. It starts with caring.
Some Intervention Suggestions and other resources:
* After school tutoring
* Sylvan Learning Centers
* Homework Hotline Educational Services, LLC
* School Notes
* Family Involvement with School Education
Sharon Stinson Gray has a Bachelor's of Art degree in English from Palm Beach Atlantic University in West Palm Beach, Florida and a Master's degree (M.P.A.) from Nova Southeastern University. With her passion for words and love of children, she entered the teaching profession in 1998. She currently teaches high school English and reading and adult education courses. Sharon is also a corresponding editor of Gumbo for the Soul, as well as senior editor of Bahiyah Woman Magazine, the premier lifestyle magazine for today's spiritually conscious professional Black man and woman!