Soulsville Charter School located in Memphis, Tennessee, was featured on Morning Joe, a daily talk show that comes on MSNBC. Althought this charter school is located in another state, it is a model for school for each and every community where there is a disconnect between schools and their communities. Listening to Digger Phelps interview NeShante Brown– the school’s Executive Director, was very moving. NeShante Brown was very passionate about her school, students and the belief that given the right atmosphere and tools–all kids can go to college and succeed in life. I recommend every parent to take the time out to review Soulsville’s website. Just maybe you can encourage a school that your child or a child that you care for who is struggling to adopt their structure.
My Personal Experience
My three sons–I have two biological boys and my nephew– I refer to them as my three sons. There is a five year age difference between my biological sons; and a one year age difference between my youngest son and my nephew. My two boys are very independent. Always eager to learn (sometimes too eager). My nephew, who is a slow learner, was more dependent. When it came to their education I started them out attending public school. My oldest son fitted right in. The teachers and students loved him. My middle son, was more of a challenge because he was an entertainer (his schoolwork didn’t suffer at all). My nephew, was placed in a regular Kindergarten class despite already having been diagnosed as Educably Mentally Handicapped (a handicap that both his biological mother and sister were under). All throughout the school year, my youngest son’s (nephew) teacher was questioned about when he’d be tested by the school’s Exceptional Education Team, the answer was said to be that there were we a lot of kids in the district that needed to be tested and that he was on the list. In the meantime, the teacher continued to send regular schoolwork home for him to complete. At the end of the school year the teacher wanted him to repeat the Kindergarten because the ESE team never were able to test him during the school year (NOT!) I really worked diligently to established reasonable relationships with all of the boys public school teachers, but it seemed like they wanted structured robotic kids. Something that does not exist in any civilian community. With my oldest son being the “popular kid” in school, he was bringing home other kids problems–allowing other kids problems to become his problem. My middle son wasn’t entertaining other kids, he was challenging the teacher’s competence. My youngest son (my nephew) when he was finally placed in an ESE classroom, he wasn’t being challenged enough. While all of the teachers loved him, he was a great classroom helper, even helping the more severely handicapped kids. I ended up removing all of the boys from public schools and then I homeschooled them–on and off. I’d mostly homeschool them during the second semester of the school year that way we could go right through the summer. I will say that I would’ve rather homeschooled them their entire education, but as a working single parent–it was often exhausting. They were doing their work–I just couldn’t keep up. And then when school started back up in the fall, they’d be a head of the kids in their class. I was persuaded by a nurse (friend) that it would be more beneficial for my youngest son (my nephew) to stay in public school because of his disability. Because he needed speech therapy. During elementary school, he received very little speech therapy. After that, no more. I was angry. When asked why they were stopping his speech therapy–I was told that he didn’t need it. I eventually just told him to try to mimick what was being said on T.V. (afterall, that’s how Hispanics say they learned to speak English). It helped. When my oldest son reached his high school, I allowed him to go to a private Catholic high school by way of an independent school. He graduated from Florida State University. My middle son, who inspired me to create this blog, made a few bad choices (in friends and of his own), however, he was able to pass the General Education Test with flying colors on his first attempt when he was 16-years-old. He got a part-time job and was enrolled at Tallahassee Community College at the time of his arrest. All of my boys inherited a loving and caring spirit. That’s why I can guarantee you that my son DID NOT commit any murders. Every person that all of my sons have encountered they have helped in one form or another. If one lesson that my son is learning while awaiting his trial–is that everybody who says that they are your friend is not your friend. When you’ve inherited a loving and caring spirit–that’s a harsh reality.