If all goes as planned, the vote concerning Charlotte Mecklenburg School closings will be over
tonight. I have grown tired of reading and hearing that these cuts are not
rooted in race, class, or politics. If that be the case, then why are the cuts concentrated in
African American, low income areas? Why not diversify the cuts by spreading them across the
While hoping for the best, preparation otherwise is needed. Litigation is an option; however, it
is an option that may not bring resolution quickly. In the meantime, the children could be faced
with navigating through these changes.
With African American dropout rates the highest in the country, particularly amongst our males
compared to their white peers according the National Education Association, we cannot allow
the distraction of waiting on resolution, take us off course. Now more than ever, parents
should ensure that the conditions have a minimal impact on the students.
Paying attention to what is going on in school by listening to what students are saying about
their day to day experience will provide clues that either underlines the things that are going
well, or signals areas for concern.
Embracing a structured environment for the family can help manage through the day to day
needs of the student. An earlier bedtime, along with a specific period for homework without
cell phone interruption is key. A planned dinner, at least once a week creating an opportunity
for sharing will be valuable as we all seek stability during what could be a longer fight than
We must get involved, not just when something goes wrong, but regularly. To the extent that
we can, it is important to be present in our schools. Whether it is on the PTA, or visiting for
lunch at least once a week, we cannot afford to allow our children to suffer at the hands of any
decision that is not in their best interest.
Lastly, whether or not you have children or grandchildren in the school system, the
strengthening of the village by surrounding these parents and children with the loving arms of
support, can be monumental as we all seek to make our way toward our future which lies in the
hands of our children.
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Tanya is an inspirational speaker in Charlotte. Friend her on Facebook, or email her at