Sunday, May 25, 2008

A bitter-sweet end should not end bitter.

It has saddened me to see how the consent decree has effected the students at the end of the school year. Many students unaffected by this decree have now realized that the typical summertime well wishings have been tempered by that possibility of not seeing one another in the classroom again. The article from the Times-Picayune illustrated this effect as thousands of children and thousands more of their friends and associates can no longer work together, play together and strive together for academic excellence and share in their success.

There are many thousands of JP school children. Some have paid little attention to what has transpired this past year. Next year they will become fully aware and may cry out in despair for their lost mates. Some may ask why, and be confused over the answer. Some may fear that it will happen to them next year. Some may leave the school system as the article described just because it just seemed unfair. Along with these types of questions and concerns the apprehension, uneasiness, paranoia and fear will become evident. Trust and commitment will remain elusive for a time and the sad part is our children's education may be adversely effected.

Segregation is wrong, as history has detailed. Preferences can be abused even though necessary to bring about a fighting chance for some. Ethnic imbalance is a consequence of the human condition...that of self-preservation, cultural cohesiveness and control. The lack of balance is a self perpetuating consequence of the human condition and can not be corrected by the orders of JPSB, Dr. Roussell, Mr. Carter or Judge Engelhardt. We may realize this in time.

Academic excellence like all things in life is also a result of the human condition. What we value is where we put our resources, spend our time and protect with our lives. Regardless of your re-districting, whether you ride the bus or not, are a Westbanker or Eastbanker, White or Black, rich or poor, our children learn from their parents or guardians what to value, where to pour resources and time and what defines a successful life. To some it is family, to many it is work or career, to others it may be material possessions, and to still others it may be religion. Let all parents and guardians agree to value their children's education from this point on. This is the only way for the majority of these children to make the best decisions for their lives and become successful in the Jefferson Parish School System, in greater New Orleans, in this country and the world, in the sight of God.

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