This I Believe

Tyishat - Toledo, Ohio
Entered on September 9, 2007

Imagine yourself in a school system where it feels like no one cares whether you pass or fail. How would that make you feel? The staff that does seem to give effort does not speak up when other staff put you down. How would you feel if people in the community constantly told you to stay off the streets but are not putting forth an effort to start after school programs or other programs that keep students focus off of the streets? This could cause for students to have low self esteem and not want to try to pass. I hear a lot of students say that someone they know told them they would fail any way so why try.

I believe the urban public school system needs to try harder to at least help the students succeed. I understand that some students do not make an effort to be helped but the ones that do can be pushed to the side. I understand you can only help those that want to be helped but do not punish those who are striving to succeed. I believe that some teachers listen to the stereotype that the students in the public urban schools and community are not going to graduate and continue to drop out instead of realizing that majority of the students are actually trying to get rid of that. Even some in the community would make students feel low. If someone makes a mistake in anything from grammar to something in there life their response would be “I know you went to Scott”. Whether it is said as a joke or not that offends me because everyone at my high school did not drop out, everyone did not fail the Ohio Graduation Test, our scores may not have been as good as the Catholic or private Schools but that does not mean our school does not have successful students.

Another issue that concerns me is the Ohio graduation tests. They should have had exceptions for those students that only fail one section. If the student had a good attendance record and had a decent grade point average then he or she should be able to graduate. I personally know students with above a 3.0 and was not able to graduate because of that test. If the students make the grades and also show that they come to school almost every day with no behavior record then there should be no reason they cannot walk across the stage and get there diploma. Some people say they did the same thing with the proficiency tests so there is no need to change the rule now but that rule also should have been the same for those tests.

I also believe that more programs in the urban schools would have kept students in the schools and off the streets. My school for instance had a few clubs but the clubs were not very active. We just made the best of it. It was as if the school formed an organization just to say they had a certain club; like there was no meaning behind it. The programs that we did have were either unorganized or inactive. Another good idea would be to set incentives. I know that getting an education is your reward for going to school but may be if the students had something else to look forward besides suspentions for being 1 minute late to class they would be more into school. I believe all faculty and staff should take anger management classes because when they get upset some of them cannot control themselves and talk to all of their students with disrespect not just the one that disrespected them. This only makes the students self esteem lower; they already think the teachers are not there to help them.

Being in a healthy and loving environment helps those who struggle to learn. With people looking at you with assumptions you will fail or fear that you will hurt them is getting old. We the students know where we live, we know what to say and not to say to the “gang” members and teachers do not. So if this is what they claim they are afraid of is honestly nonsense. It is not about the colors or slang what is wanted overall is respect.