Educate ourselves, then our kids

Praise the Lord Saints.

I know I was supposed to continue with the 7 Spiritual Laws but too much has happened that needs to be said.

Here goes, Help me Holy Ghost!

I’m just having a hard time wrapping my head around the current events involving the status of these elementary schools.

I’m a board member of PSFEC and a dear friend with Pastor Rainey so I’m not from the outside looking in. Over the past 6-8 months I have been knee deep in the trenches and I’m not only shocked but I’m disappointed that the overwhelming attitude of the very ones that are to be held accountable is, well look at the north Pinellas schools, PTC, the middle schools, and high schools.

Well, that’s great those other schools are making good strides towards improving, BUT, that’s not what these articles are talking about.

When something is not going well in one area or another the first thing one should do is NOT attempt to deflect my attention to something else.  Deflection is a form of deception.  Don’t tell me that the Rays pitching staff is doing a great job when I ask you about how is a pitcher is coping with his drug abuse.  This is a hypothetical so don’t read into this please.  But, this is what some will try to do to get you to believe things aren’t no, ain’t as bad as it REALLY is!

It’s a shameful disgrace to know that it appears that there has been a deliberate, intentional, calculated effort to fail our kids and if these reports, no 10 year, exhaustive, concentrated, carefully constructed investigations are even close to the truth, why haven’t the ones responsible come forth to say hey we messed up and we will fix the problems.

To throw up smoke and mirrors like we are in a David Copperfield Magic show clearly sends the message that we are not smart enough to figure this out and if we just give them a cookie, everything will be alright.

I’m hearing from different individuals that some, get this, “some” of the reports are not accurate, not lies and falsehoods, just not accurate.

If I were accused of such slanderous, malicious, libel offenses, I would do everything in my power to prove every one of them wrong.  Not attempt to snowball folks into believing we are not at an epidemic state of emergency.

Nobody came to what turned out to be a sauna sweatbox crammed in like sardines to hear a 90 minute monologue of what is happening with the other schools in this county.  We came to hear if the reports had some value or was there an attempt by the #1 Newspaper in the state of Florida, winner of 10 Pulitzers, to smear the Pinellas County School Board.

We had citizens of all ages many seniors that I know were not comfortable and had physical ailments that only flared up because of the poor decision to have such an event there.  Or was the Museum chosen because the feeling was “they ain’t gonna show no how” or well, I will leave that one alone.

I’m in a conversation with some county officials that stated that this event could have been at the Coliseum or even the over $4 million dollar Gibbs High auditorium which would have provided more than ample seating, great acoustics, comfortable temperatures for everyone.

After all, Gibbs was the only high schools blacks could attend back in the day so I’m told.

I’m wondering how many more articles are on the horizon, how many more dirty, dark, hidden secrets are we to be enlightened with as the coming days approach.

School is back in session for our babies and it’s not as glorious a time filled with great anticipation and expectation with these dark clouds of deception, neglect, and total lack of care and concern for our babies here on the south side.

PLEASE don’t think I’m mad, irate, or whatever you choose to interject.  To coin one of my Top 10 Movies, “You want answers, I think I’m entitled, You want answers, I WANT THE TRUTH!”

And for the record, I’m a 12 year, highly decorated, Desert Storm War Veteran of the Greatest Fighting Force in the World, the United States Marines so, I CAN handle the truth.  So can the 2,500 families whose babies attended and still are attending these schools.  By the way, who else was blown away when the question was asked of the audience how many parents were in attendance that had kids in one of these schools and only 1 parent stood up?

Was it because the ones who did were embarrassed, ticked off or hot as fish grease, or felt it would be more of the song and dance, hocus pocus tap dancing around the actual issues.  Well if it were the latter, they hit the proverbial nail on the head.

You don’t get credit for doing what the millions and millions of dollars you receive mandate you should do.  That’s like a father yelling, “I take care of my kids” and says it in such a braggadocios manner like you really did something. Negro Please!  You are supposed to take care of your kids; you made them so they are your responsibility! You don’t get credit for that. Graduate them, have them get honor roll or Principal’s List the entire school year, introduce them to Jesus Christ, raise them in the admonition of the Lord, then you might be able to get a small pat on the back but anything short of that you got some work to do.

You are given those millions of dollars to educate our kids.  Nobody asked you to raise them, but maybe if you cared enough for them as though they were your own, just maybe the behavior issues would reduce and you would create a more teachable, peaceful environment for all.

I haven’t had time to read the two new articles that were printed these past few days but all I will say is this, I wrote this not to beat up the School Board because some of the people in the system I Love and have a personal relationship with.  I’m writing this because not only does it merit consideration and ink, we have to stop playing the “pc” game and get to the heart of the major issues this city has been facing for quite some time.  If you mad, get out your feelings and get a little mo’ Jesus to help you along the way.

Don’t tell me that some of the article is not accurate, propose how you gonna fix what is not accurate.

I want to close with the issue regarding how many black male teachers and principals are in this entire county.

The Holy Spirit brought this to me and I’m curious to find out that number.  The reason I believe the Lord laid this on me is because from the beginning, He set the echelon of authority in the garden and it just appears that there is a push to flip flop this and therein lies your foundational blunder.

I find it hard to believe there are not any qualified brothers who have applied for these positions and not received justified, righteous consideration.  If someone knows the numbers, please contact me before next week’s deadline to post my article, Monday evening.

The Calvary is on its way.

Till next week,

God Bless and Keep Us All.

Rev. Dr. Robert L. Harrison, PhD –, @drrobharrison

The Apostolic Open Door Church of God & True Holiness – 2800 41st Ave. N, St. Pete
Chaplain – Southern Christian Leadership Conference of Pinellas
Parent Support for Education Council Board Member | Dept. Juvenile Justice Chaplain for Circuit 6

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