Sardonic Sistah Says

Observations… Ruminations… Ponderances… & Rants from Another Perspective

Educating Rayshawn: Boys and School

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It’s kind of early in the school year to begin skipping, but a lot of black boys have begun anyway.

They have been coming in earlier and earlier.  One young man came up to me in a school uniform from my old Alma Mater.  I know the school is in session, but I’m not allowed to say too much.  Instead I just say, “You guys didn’t have school today?”

He gives me a song and dance about how his class went on a trip and they dropped him off with us.  I know it’s a lie and don’t ask him for a note.  For all of the things he could be doing while skipping hanging out with us is the least innocuous.  He won’t learn anything but at least he won’t end up in jail.

Yesterday I counted at least 10.  That’s a lot of kids to not be in school.  Most of them are boys, all of them are black.  I wonder if they have this problem in the burbs, then think of what J and I would do if we discovered J2 was skipping school.  But then if he skipped school with the regularity that these kids did we would know because someone would contact us.  Last year after Cricket’s ACL surgery she had missed three non-consecutive days in the quarter and I got a phone call and a letter from the school saying they understood she might be in pain but she needed to be there, medical excuse or not.  From my experience with my children, our schools would tell us when they miss days or skip classes.  What school is tattling on these kids and do the parents care?

And it bothers me that so many of them are young black males.  I know that there is a problem around the country with educating boys anyway (I spoke about it here).  In today’s Newsweek online magazine author Peg Tyre writes about the struggle a lot of American boys are having with school.

Some kids are thriving in the changing world. But many aren’t. What parents and teachers see—and what this government study now shows—is that the ones who can’t handle it are disproportionately boys…

Let’s take a moment, before the school year gets any farther underway, and ask ourselves whether we are raising and educating our boys in a way that respects their natural development. And if we are not, let’s figure out how we can bring our family life and our schools back into line.

When it rains in the white community, monsoons hit the black community.  Young black men are dropping out of the job culture and moving further from the mainstream.   In the inner city more than half of black males drop out of high school.  

What happens to our communities if fewer black men are job ready? 

What is happening with our black sons?  And what can we do to save them?

I don’t know.  I guess it’s easier to just point fingers than come up with viable solutions.

As for me, I have to look the other way.  But I can still see them.


Written by rentec

10 September, 2008 at 2:41 pm

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