K.I.P.P-(KIDS IN PRISON PROGRAM)-BLACK BALLED AND PUNISHED

“While we try to teach our children all about life, Our children teach us what life is all about.”
  — Angela Schwindt

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.

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An Open Letter to Shawn James (Freelance Writer)

*It took me a while to decide HOW exactly to respond to an August 27th, 2012 blog post written by Shawn James titled “Why Real Men Avoid Single Mothers“.  Not because I am a single mother and was offended but because who is he that he deserves to be made relevant? Does his opinion really matter that much four years later? Well, apparently it does and the internet has convinced him that his life and his words matter. So here goes.*

Dear Shawn,

Before I rip you to shreds in the most polite, motherly and classy way that I know possible for your brave yet feeble attempt to degrade single mothers I would like to commend you on your becoming relevant (nearly 4 years after your article was published might I add). You successfully found a way to ensure that your life matters; I’m sure your mother is proud of you. For weeks I have purposely tip-toed past your “article”  simply based on the title “Why Real Men Avoid Single Mothers”, then my friend decided it was something I needed to read simply so he and I could touch on a few of your talking points. [Some of which have validity while others don’t hold water] Let’s start at the top and work our way down shall we? Continue reading

Happy Father’s Day, Mom?!

I was trolling the internet last night when I came across a new promo commercial from Angel Soft Toilet Paper, entitled “Happy Father’s Day, Mom.” The ad featured several people of different sexes and races expressing their sentiments for their mothers who was for whatever reason a single parent. I have to admit I was not able to finish watching the entire promo as because I was just that disgusted at this display of disrespect. View the promo and my open letter to Angel Soft Toilet Paper after the break.

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I’ll Love You Forever…

One of my son’s favorite books is “I’ll Love You Forever” by Robert Munsch.

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I can never ger through this book without crying, so my som started reading it to me. (Which really makes me cry). At times motherhood is no walk in the park especially in raising a young man. On yesterday the words to this book replayed over and over in my head as i watched my little one at his first full contact football practice. It was hard to stomach watching him be tossed like a ragdoll. He wanted to quit but I couldn’t let him, I had to be “tough”. All I wanted to do was wipe his tears and hug him. At the end of practice he told his coaches he wasn’t going to quit that he was going to keep playing.  After he was all bathed and ready for bed I told him,

“I’ll love you forever, I’ll like you for always. As long as I’m living my baby you’ll be”

He smiled and said, “I love you mommy”. Moments like that make motherhood seem like a walk on the football field.

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