Who will fight for them?

by Anthony P Johnson

Post image for Who will fight for them?

Too many prisons, but not enough good schools.
Too many weapons, but not enough educational tools.
Not enough effective teachers, but way too many fools.

Too many students piled in one classroom–35 up to 45–and possibly more. Over 60% of them are academically incapable of passing — and more than 50% will drop out of school believing that somehow they are free at last. Free? Free?

Free!

Our children say that school is “Stupid!” They say “Ole’ Head, I ain’t got time for these halls of academia, where I can’t read or write. I get straight A’s on them streets. I sell on them streets, I rob on them streets, I shoot and get shot at on them streets and on them streets — I am the undisputed champion. I can’t be beat.”

I am convinced that this is the world of Bizzaro. How can it not be, when our youth believe a life in the street or prison is cool and a much better place than school? How in the real world can this be — prison over education?   I know you don’t agree with these priorities!

Our children feel angry, scared and betrayed. School administrations say they love the children, but have failed to provide teachers with the most basic resources to aid the students. Some teachers say they love the children, but stand pat and watch students plummet deeper into “literacy debt.” The politician says they love the children but speak with a forked tongue. They give lip service about providing the youth with a quality education and social programs all the while cutting public education and after school programs. You don’t think our children feel betrayed? So, they form their “gangs,” “squads,” “sets,” “streets,” “hoods,” and “clicks” ready to explode in a rage of frustration at any hour, minute, or second on society–tick, tick, tick.

Too many prisons, but not enough good schools.
Too many weapons, but not enough educational tools.
Not enough effective teachers, but way too many fools.

Please share this story!
  • RSS
  • Facebook
  • Technorati
  • Twitter
  • Digg
  • Google Bookmarks
  • MySpace
  • Live
  • LinkedIn
  • del.icio.us
  • email
  • Print
  • StumbleUpon

{ 11 comments }

Anthony P. Johnson May 24, 2011 at 7:37 am

Ms. Cindy, I would find it insulting as well if I did not here this from my students who made the quotes. I completely disagree with you about what youth and teenagers are capable of saying. You may have never heard them make quotes but does that make it true? Further, I find it insulting that you would think the youth are not capable of using words such as “academia” when expressing their lives through poetry. You seemed to be searching for names of the adolescents who were quoted…but Iwill not supply you or anyone else for that matter with names.

You completely missed the point as to why this was written. The youth and adolescents have an apathetic view of education and would rather seek an education in the streets than in the halls of academia.

Dean Fancy via Facebook April 19, 2011 at 5:34 pm

They will fight for themselves when they get old enough, sooner or later. Kind of like in Libya and Syria right now. In the mean time, for you investors, keep any eye on the private prison industry. Lots of positive indicators.

Cindy Curry via Facebook April 19, 2011 at 3:55 pm

OK, then who is being quoted. Sorry, it just seems like kids are being used here, being made to sound as uneducated as possible,(except for the “halls of academia”. If it was properly quoted, then it would identify the person who is being quoted. If it is the writing of the Mr. Johnson, then it would be in his words and there would be no need for quotation marks.

Terri L. Willmott via Facebook April 19, 2011 at 1:36 pm

The piece is properly quoted.

Cindy Curry via Facebook April 19, 2011 at 1:01 pm

If it is his words, then he should have used his words. Saying “…I ain’t got time for these halls of academia…,” and putting it in quotes, is misleading. It does not ring true when put that way. I agree that the priority needs to be given to our kids and their education.

Terri L. Willmott via Facebook April 19, 2011 at 12:52 pm

Cindy & Mary, The quote was not taken, it is the writing of Anthony P. Johnson who lives and works in the 180th district of Philadelphia PA, is currently campaigning for the State Rep seat in the district (2012) and works with these youth who I am sure he hears many of these sentiments on a regular basis. We are “fighting for them”.

“Moratorium on New Prisons/Fund Education Instead of Incarceration”
http://www.change.org/petitions/moratorium-on-new-prisonsfund-education-instead-of-incarceration

Cindy Curry via Facebook April 19, 2011 at 12:52 pm

Maybe it’s time to stop playing the blame game altogether. School administrators are under pressure from bureaucrats who don’t care about education. Yet they are ‘in charge’ of education. It’s time to put education in the hands of the educators. The onsite administrators are feeling the pressure from the Board if Education, while knowing that it does not usually have anything to do with what’s best for the students. So they have the pressure from within as well. Meanwhile, the parents are often juggling more than one job, trying to parent their kids and provide for them as well. Some make decisions out of guilt and some don’t know what they’re doing. Society is complicated. We need to work together.

Robert Bendik via Facebook April 19, 2011 at 11:22 am

maybe it is time to stop blaming the school administrators and teachers and start blaming the parents and our political leaders. I have strong opinions on this issue but I must go to work so I can pay my taxes to help keep convicted criminals in prison.

Brooke Leigh Sheldon via Facebook April 19, 2011 at 9:39 am

I personally, cannot address the specific notation, but my thought would be that it is an amalgam of the various comments and rebukes of the scholastic system he hears from students in that system.

Allow me provide to you with a more expansive awareness of the lens Mr. Johnson is looking through in writing this piece. Mr. Johnson is the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Dream Field Academy, a 501 (C) (3) providing mentoring, tutoring and non-traditional sports (Fencing, golf, rugby, etc.) programs. Through his organization’s mentoring he assists youth who feel disenfranchised by breakdowns in the traditional scholastic and academic environs. In addition, to helping these young people go on to higher education here in the United States, because of his effective networking around the world he has also arranged for some graduating students, who have qualified and shown the interest, to go on to study abroad. Mr. Johnson is also the Founder of the “Summit” Coalition, which is guided by the principle to build creative and trusting relationships with residents, community based and faith based organizations, school officials, public servants and families to provide quality programs to impoverished communities. He is currently completing his Ph.D.

Mary Dennis Goyette via Facebook April 19, 2011 at 5:47 am

I agree Cindy, does not sound at alike!!That was inserted!

Cindy Curry via Facebook April 19, 2011 at 12:11 am

I read the article. I do agree that our priorities are not straight when it comes to spending our tax money. Children do need to be a much higher priority. They are at the bottom at this point, and teachers who work very hard to teach so many with dwindling resources and increasingly idiotic ‘new’ guidelines, are demonized and unfairly scrutinized. I would like to know who the following quote was from (taken from the article) Our children say that school is “Stupid!” They say “Ole’ Head, I ain’t got time for these halls of academia, where I can’t read or write. I get straight A’s on them streets. I sell on them streets, I rob on them streets, I shoot and get shot at on them streets and on them streets — I am the undisputed champion. I can’t be beat.”

Who is being quoted? I find this kind of insulting to the kids. Also, it does not seem likely that “these halls of academia” would come from the same mouth.

Previous post:

Next post: