“While we try to teach our children all about life, Our children teach us what life is all about.”
It takes a lot for me to speak on or expose many details of my personal life especially those that pertain to that of my eleven-year old. For many who are familiar with Dude (my son’s nickname since birth) and I it is no secret that we move quite effectively as a unit, where there is he there is me. This was no different when we decided to enroll in KIPP Triumph Academy, a choice charter school located in Saint Louis City[but a much smaller entity attached to a larger national conglomerate]. It was all of the glitz and glamour that was sold to us upon out initial new family tour during the spring of 2015. From the moment we stepped foot inside the school we were more than impressed with their advance curriculum, the dedication of the teachers and of course the super fly uniforms.
However, it wasn’t long before the honeymoon phase was over for us; it quickly became evident as to why the children refer to KIPP as the “KIDS IN PRISON PROGRAM”. Now granted, I whole heartedly support their academic learning structure but the rigorous and overbearing discipline structure is extreme and over the top for children who more likely that not are transitioning from less restrictive public school structures. KIPP serves the “under-privelaged, low-income” urban families in the inner cities, and recruit and employ young first year white Teach for America educators to pay their dues to what they believe to be poor, unfortunate, undereducated children whose parents surely can’t have more than a high school diploma or a G.E.D. [ This is the furthest things from the truth as it pertains to the families attending KTA]. I have been an active member of the school’s Parent Ambassador group, taking time out of my schedule to attend meetings, book fairs and new family orientations to encourage new families to come to KIPP, chaperoning dances, and much much more. Over time I have noticed that the strict and extreme discipline structure gives children more time out of school than in for even the smallest of infractions. My son has been one of said students who no matter how big or small his indiscretion is he pays a hefty price. [No I am not one of those “My child does no wrong mothers, I know my child is a handful but right is right]
This is our story.