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Libby's Co-sign Diary January 31, 2015

This posting is the first in what may become a series.  I say may become for it depends on how much crazy people expect me to co-sign.  When you meet me online or offline, I am very open about the fact I call myself on my own shit.  The hint and a half in that confession is don't expect me to co-sign on your shit when I have shit of my own.  

If I am wrong, I don't expect you to agree with me.  Be real with me.  Don't co-sign on my crazy.  The only thing gained is more crazy.  We need more sanity.   Today, I had the pleasure of listening to  my sister degrade a school district in Georgia.  She was a little perturbed when I didn't co-sign on her rant.  How could I co-sign when the truth was already made known to me? 

The particular district of which she was bemoaning, happened to be one in which I once had a child enrolled. She lamented to me her time as a pupil in this district.  She felt the district had been  under preparing students for generations.   I spoke of the wonderful interactions I had with staff and faculty.   I mentioned the advance level of work in which my child engaged.  She was stunned by my words. 

Her rant changed to  the schools were only good in the White section of the county.  My child attended school in a very Black section of the county.  She stated she understood parental involvement playing a part.  I informed her parental involvement is THE PART.  She was taken back by my words. She claimed a headache at that point.  

Don't ask me to co-sign on your crazy.  My children know to not bring such to me.  I tell them to think, then think about what they thought, and then to think a third time on the thought about the original thought.  If their heads aren't spinning at that point, then come talk to me.  If you are wondering why I have such a passion for not co-signing on this particular crazy, continue reading.

I grew-up in a poor rural town in Mississippi.  The school district didn't have much money.  What we did and still do have is high parental involvement.  We are talking parents who drive hours away to be able to work but are still involved in the school district.  Unlike other private schools in Mississippi, students in this district attend private school for an easier curriculum. This school district, in poor rural Mississippi, has produce Rhodes scholars and advance standardized testing scores.  Why?  Simple, we treat our schools as a way out of Mississippi for our children.  We don't think of the school as a day care for our teenagers.  We start at birth explaining the correlation between education and economic viability.  (Sidenote:  We also have a low level of teenage pregnancy. Economic viability is taught at birth)

I brought with me to Dekalb County that same level of parental involvement.  I was at my child's school so often I was offered a job.  The principal was shocked to learn I had a job.  If you checkout on education don't expect your children to stay checked-in.  If you only appear at the school when something is wrong, don't expect much of the school district.  Parental involvement, not money is the difference in education.  If you move to a new "better" district without changing your behavior, you are only moving.  If enough people move to the same area thinking as do you, then that district will become what you left. 

I can't co-sign on the crazy of racism is why schools are bad in Black neighborhoods.  However, if the racism is the belief by Black people that schools in Black neighborhoods are horrible, then maybe I can.  Schools in the "hood" today should have some of the best educated children.  Black children where educated in the 1930s, 40s, 50s, and 60s in a segregated environment.  Their parents worked long hours.  The difference those parents made education a priority.  

I am not expecting this posting to make for me many friends or to have me labeled Black Woman of the year.  I do expect Black people to take responsibility for the quality of education in their neighborhoods.  I also expect people, whom I have told I don't co-sign, to stop expecting me to co-sign on their crazy. 


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