Concerned Black Men Appropriately Address their Concerns There is a flip-side to scenes like this (again, this is the scene captured by the News & Record’s H. Scott Hoffmann outside Page High School yesterday where a huge cafeteria fight resulted in the use of pepper spray and about six arrests)…there is a flip-side.

Prevention. A sense of being proactive instead of being reactive.

And that’s what about two dozen concerned members of at least three prominent black churches in Greensboro wanted to bring to the attention of Board members during the public comment period at last night’s GCS School Board meeting. These church members spoke on behalf of their individual mentoring programs that they have in place to many of our GCS students.

One commenter described those in attendance as “concerned black men.” Many in attendance demanded that the School Board “discuss strategies they will use to combat rising suspension and dropout rates and to increase academic achievement for male black students.”

George Harris, an executive for United HealthCare (a major Greensboro employer, by the way), told board members last night that the business community of Greensboro and Guilford County demands good schools and that the business community and the community at large is growing. He said that the school system must address this issue now.

Apparently, their concerns were important enough to warrant a pause in the meeting following public comments to place this issue as an agenda item for the next meeting; chairman Alan Duncan asked that staff begin gathering data in an effort to address this at the Nov. 8 meeting.

Here’s the irony in all of this…

My wife and I were watching the meeting on TV last night and made a good point: she asked that if those gentlemen were not in attendance last night, would those concerns still be addressed as aggressively? Probably not. If anything, and since we know this Board is a reactive one instead of being proactive, this issue should be addressed on an ongoing basis.

The image “” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors. Is Deena Hayes right? Has she been right all along? We can debate that side-issue forever-and-a-day, but it wouldn’t solve the problem.

And while part of the problem is addressing this issue among ALL of our GCS students, it has become an urgency among dealing with this issue head-on involving our students of color.

So, you ask, how would I answer the question posed last night: “What are the strategies this Board will use to combat rising suspension and dropout rates and to increase academic achievement for male black students?”

My answer: to expand the partnerships with GCS and several churches, and other non-profit groups that provide mentoring to our children. Expand partnerships with our business community to help give our young people good part-time jobs after school and on weekends. Examine our curricula and make sure there are plenty of opportunities for our children to diversify their education. If any of our children need an alternative setting, make sure they are in place and work to alternatively educate that child, not babysit them.

Many of these children want to learn, they want to be in school, they just want the chance to be successful. It is our duty to ensure that this occurs. Scenes like the one above only seem to perpetuate the problem. But scenes like the one above cries out for conflict resolution and character education, and I will ensure programs are in place to do just that at every GCS facility and ensure they are working to their maximum.

I eagerly await this discussion on Nov. 8 and I applaud the gentlemen who spoke eloquently last night. They are exemplary examples of men stepping up to the plate and doing the right thing for our children.

E.C. 🙂


4 Responses

  1. We face a challenge in integrating the efforts of the churches, colleges, law enforcement agencies, courts and the business commuhity to co-autohr a framework to address the issue. The school board bears a great responsibility to take the lead and msut be willing to reach out to the other areas for support, resources and onging involvement .

  2. I wholeheartedly agree. It is a collaborative partnership, and it will take a true partnership to properly address the educational needs of our children. Join me and my campaign, and tell your friends and neighbors about this campaign, so we can begin working to lay the proper framework for this to occur.

  3. Gangs are a community problem, however, gangs recruit their new soldiers from the schools, as early as elementary and middle school, so it should be huge priority of the school board. If gangs aren’t being dealt with assertively in schools, it is nearly impossible for l;aw enforcement to do it outside of school.

  4. Deena Hayes can not be allowed to take control of this issue in schools. GPD wanted to implement a pilot school watch program a few years ago to try to deal with crime and violence in schools, but Deena Hayes single-handedly stopped the program flat by saying that no one was going to turn her babies into snitches. You know, no one likes a snitch.

    Dealing with gangs in Greensboro has been effectively stopped by some who expressed some concerns. It’s interesting how easily a few can totally stop any active and preemptive action in this county.

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