My school has recently been involved in a bit of a controversy concerning racism at a few football games in the last couple of years. Go to the link here to read the latest article in the local paper http://www.times-standard.com/ci_19782245?IADID=Search-www.times-standard.com-www.times-standard.com. I attended the meeting we had at our gym this last Thursday night and I was happy to see a full house there. I was impressed by the speakers that all spoke about accountability and what we try to teach our athletes. It is very unfortunate that in 2012 we still live in a society that has some ignorant people who ruin reputations for the majority.
Our school is not very diverse. We have one Black and about two dozen Hispanics. We are small as we only have about 160 students. The school is like a big family. When something happens to someone at school or if the school is attacked we tend to take it personally. Our teachers really love our students and I believe the feeling is mutual. For example a few years ago my daughter was in a serious auto accident and I received many comments from concerned students and fellow faculty members. Most of the students had never met my daughter but they were genuinely concerned about me and my family. When you read some of the articles written in the paper you don’t get the same warm fuzzy feeling like I had back when my daughter was recovering.
Every day I go to school I am met by smiles and warm greetings. I can honestly say I have no students I dread seeing every day. I enjoy each one of them and share my personal life with them. My students are always curious about my kids and our recently acquired four-year old foster child. My foster child is black and my students that have met him fell in love with him immediately. I have plenty of willing babysitters!
I’m sure we have some prejudice in our school. I find it hard to believe any school in America is perfect when it comes to prejudice or bullying. Our community is no different. I’m sure we have people in our community who say things they shouldn’t even be thinking. We are normal. We can always become better and that’s what the meeting Thursday night was all about. We were there to reaffirm our commitment to being responsible fans, coaches, and players at our athletic events.
Ferndale is a fantastic community and is has been an absolute pleasure teaching there for the last 28 years. The community is supportive and they are doing a fine job of raising their children. I credit our parents and community members for the great group of students we have attending our school. Of course, who else could take credit?
This is a small storm that our school is weathering just fine. Our students have had a healthy dialogue about the situation and they are better because of it. Although none of this was the student’s fault (and they know this), they have become more sensitive to what they say and do. A good lesson has been learned. I am proud of the school and the community.