Monday, December 12, 2011

I’ll Vouch for That…

By: J Robert Giles
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“The tendency to whining and complaining may be taken as the surest sign symptom of little souls and inferior intellects.”   - Lord Jeffrey


A story broke here in Saint Louis over the weekend that just screams of so many unaddressed problems in our current system of education. The story itself is ludicrous but the bigger issues behind the story are issues that quite frankly don’t get enough attention. First…..the story.

There’s a school here called Shaw Visual Performing Arts Elementary. I’ll give your mind a second or two to digest that information. Assumptions of conservative reasoning are shunned by the school’s moniker alone, but here are a few statistics about the school anyway. (For source information, please click on the link.) Shaw Visual Performing Arts Elementary is in the St Louis City School District. It is comprised of 63.5% African American students and 33.6% White students. It performs well below the accepted averages in almost every measurable category. In Mathematics, for example, Shaw ranks at an average of 19.34% compared to the Missouri State average of 49.67%. Now, apparently this school has a long standing tradition of Caroling at Christmastime to raise money necessities that parents are unwilling to provide themselves. Any thought of referring to “Christmas” or the “Birth of Christ” was removed long ago, but only last week did the school make news. Last week, the Principal at Shaw Visual Performing Arts Elementary, during practice for the upcoming concert, asked if there were any students who did not wish to participate in the ceremonies. Out of 350+ students, only a handful raised their hands to indicate some sort of opposition to the melodious tradition. Those students were then led outside to the hallway so that the 300+ kids who were interested could go ahead and practice.

That’s it. That’s the story. Not much there, right? Well, it has been expanded and enhanced so that it has now become one of those non-issues of race despite the fact that no racial slurs, comments, or actions were used. The parents of the kids who were asked to go sit outside the auditorium are now demanding that the principal be fired. Over what? On what grounds should this principal be fired? Because she wouldn’t let yourFree/Reduced Price Meals stubborn little turd of a child sit in a classroom and disrupt the rest of the student body? Should she be fired because she didn’t enforce the beliefs, "values", and traditions of your family upon the other 300+ families celebrating the heavily altered traditions of their ancestry? It’s virtually guaranteed that any liberal reading this has already labeled me a racist, so here’s a little economic profiling for you…….Shaw Visual Performing Arts Elementary gives away 70.2% of the meals that are served in it’s cafeteria. That means that for every meal a hard-working family buys, two other families get one for free. Before you go all nuts and start sending me hate mail that claims I hate children and want them to starve, let me explain the significance of that math. Let’s say there were 20 kids that left the auditorium while the rest of the school practiced their Christmas songs. Now, out of that 20, how many do you suppose got some of those delicious “free meals” that day? Honestly think about it. We’re not just talking lunch either. Kids show up to school at 6AM these days. They eat two, sometimes three meals a day at school, and I have no problem with that. What I do have a problem with is the fact that the woman who most likely benefits heavily from the free meals is the one hanging out at the school, on a work-day, taking pictures of what she views as “segregation” with her Smartphone.  She's not working so that she may one day repay some of the mandatory generosity so many others have bestowed upon her children. She's not self-conscious in the least about the fact that not only is her child receiving a free lunch, but she now believes a school principal should be fired for not bending to the will of her spoiled little entitlement-baby. Isn’t that kind of like a Japanese pilot demanding free admission to the Pearl Harbor Memorial; or an illegal alien demanding free souvenirs from the gift shop at the Alamo? I’m just saying…

That principal has EVERY right and obligation to make sure that the concert given to the people who donate the money that keeps free lunches flowing into the dissenters' bellies is a good show. The people who donate the "lunch money" deserve at least that much, right? If there are a measly handful who choose not to participate, then by all means, get them the heck out of the way. This event raises a bunch of money to provide children with meals that apparently over two thirds of the parents at this school cannot provide on their own. Isn’t it about time that people who depend on others to raise their children stop being the first and the loudest to complain when it is not done to their satisfaction? The principal acted appropriately in my opinion but perhaps she could have avoided the entire situation before it began. To be honest, I cannot think of a more shining example of the need for a voucher system of education in this country. This story is isolated to a school here in Saint Louis, but I’m absolutely certain that at least one such example can be found in every school district in every major city in the United States. I would love a school that promoted my family’s traditions within it’s walls. I would love to drop my son off at a school that is allowed to sing “Christmas” songs at “Christmas” time. Children who come from conservative, Christian families could pool their allotted education dollars with the children of like-minded families. Feelings would cease to be hurt over traditions not supported by the boisterous minority. No longer would I be forced to feed the children of families who only send their kids to school for free meals and hopefully a chance to bring a big money, civil suit against “the man” someday. No one is claiming that the “secular holiday songs” were religiously offensive. The bottom line is that the handful of kids just didn’t “want to participate.” Do any of you recall a time in your youth when you were asked if you wanted to participate in an event at school? Do you remember a time when you were given a choice in anything that school demanded of you? If these parents want to voice their political, cultural, or non-religious views through their children, then perhaps we should allow them to do so. Perhaps these kids would be more comfortable at My Mom’s a Nosy Fool Looking for a Payday Elementary. Kids shouldn’t be forced to be the voice of their parents any more than they should be given a choice in what they do at school. A voucher system would allow for a world in which the minority of students who do not celebrate Christmas for whatever reason would never have to see a Christmas tree and would certainly never be asked to sing a “secular holiday song.” I’m willing to bet that, in such a world, the student body at the school to which I choose to send my kids is much, much bigger than the one serving 70.2% free lunches.

Like I said, I assume I will get all sorts of “you don’t know what it’s like” messages from the left-leaners who for some reason continue to read my articles, but their opinions gradescartoon are as irrelevant on this topic as they are on any other. A school voucher system is a good idea for American education. It would allow disruptive kids like the ones at Shaw to be taught by overly sensitive, social barnacles like yourselves while my kid is free to compete and rise to the top on his own merit. I don’t want my kid to make the honor roll in a school where every kid is praised regardless of effort. I want my kid to make the honor roll in a school where he is actually challenged. Our current system caters to the laziest, most uncooperative segment of students while leaving the ones who truly enjoy learning unchallenged and demoralized. Isn’t it about time we create, for our children, a society in which achievement is encouraged, not ridiculed? Isn’t it about time we create, for our children, a system in which education and retention are more important than fashion and celebrity gossip? Isn’t it about time we stop letting unions tell us which teachers we are allowed to promote and which ones we should force into alternative career paths? These things are all fun to rant about, but it’s time to take action. It’s time to get up off our fat, lazy, entitled asses and create a better world for our kids than the one they’re about to inherit. I do NOT owe your disruptive, proudly uneducated, poorly guided, morally ignorant, socially inconsiderate burden a free meal and I certainly don’t owe any credence to his/her/your self-serving demands of special treatment. Get over it.

As always, thanks for playing

J. Robert Giles

Here’s a few more links to illustrate just how bad the American Education system has become.

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