Thankfully the 19th Ward offers the many good things mentioned in the article. The house tour is sure to impress. We do indeed have challenges but with the continuous efforts of so many good hearted, hard working neighbors who are as committed as those mentioned above we will thrive.
Diane Watkins, President 19th WCA
I so appreciate comments on this issue because they mean that some people still care about public education. The comments reflect exactly the complexities of preparing and schooling children who live in socio-emotional climates of desperation and despair as we fight to prepare them for college and careers yet to be discovered.
The struggle that those of us who grappled with and eventually vetted this report is that just like people in the ancient human societies that we force public school students to study academic concepts when we fundamentally understand that when one’s basic needs of food, clothing, shelter, safety and familial love are not met, then the intellectual pursuit of formalized education is a moot point. Therefore, when a child reveals through their behavior what we already know to be true (they are not socially, emotionally or mentally prepared to appreciate compulsory [forced] education) then we need to believe them the first time. As educational experts, conscientious reporters or astute politicians, we need to consider; is it worth it to force children to go to school if the end result is that they will 1) Keep everyone else’s children from learning; 2) have students arrested for minor infractions; or 3) observe in retrospect how empires (a.k.a. the United States) decline? In any of the above scenarios; as the report shows; the Black and Brown people of America will be criminalized, blamed and abandoned in model that support forced education. The time has come for us to draw a line in the sand… are we for or against public schools putting out children who are not prepared to learn at the levels dictated by the State for various reasons or are we the preparing ourselves to be the safe room that those children run to when all hell breaks loose? ?
I believe that the language describing the relationship between the 19th Ward and our college student residents is more reflective of the "youthful vibe" used to describe Monroe Ave than "friction". The 19th is overflowing with youth potential.
I also want to push back on the politically loaded language of "open air drug markets". This is big city language that is being improperly imposed upon our smaller city drug activity. Please do not misconstrue this comment to imply tacit support for drug dealing, particularly as we as a nation grapple with issues of legalization of marijuana juxtaposed against increased use of heroin. No one should get it twisted, the 19th Ward is a good place to live in a great American City
Diane Watkins 1St VP 19th WCA.
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