Monday, June 18, 2012

Club 2012: Black parents who made sure their sons succeeded in school

The Washington Post
Post Local
By Michael Alison Chandler
Published: June 14, 2012

For six years, their parents had nagged and prodded and pressed them to perform.
Now these African American seniors in Loudoun County were marking the end of high school with a private ceremony organized by their parents, who had banded together back in middle school to make sure their sons made it successfully to graduation day.
“For the last six years, we’ve told you to do more, do better. We’re never satisfied, right?” said John Johnson, an Ashburn father addressing the 18 students in dress shirts and suit jackets in the auditorium at Lunsford Middle School in Chantilly.
“Well, tonight,” he declared, “we are satisfied.”
He flashed through a slide show of the core members’ accomplishments: 100 percent graduation rate, 92 percent enrollment in Advanced Placement classes, a cumulative 3.7 grade-point average and a combined $1.3 million in college scholarships.
Then he estimated, only half jokingly, how much volunteer time the parents seated behind them had invested in their success: 1,173,266 hours.
Read more HERE.


Anonymous said...

Really? What about diversity? Or is that only when NEEDED? And who allowed the discrimination of an all black ceremony in a public school building? For crying out loud, the ACLU has I led legal cause to kick Christian only groups off Christian schools!

Come on already. Enough with Affirmative Action.

Jennifer Abell said...


LegalBeaglette said...

We agree that parents have a role in "success in school."

The paragraph in this article that concerned me:

Gabrielle Carpenter, the guidance director at Tuscarora High School, grew concerned that her son didn’t seem to see race. "We live in a society that sees race,” she said. “I didn’t want him to be naive or unequipped.”

She is a guidance director at a public high school -- and she WANTS her son to “see race?”

What, for her, does "see race" mean? What does it mean for Club 2012?

When our family moved to Maryland, my children did not “see race.” They had lived, since birth, in diverse communities, surrounded by people who were not grouped, referred to, or characterized or judged by the color of their skin, hair or eyes. Or the shape of their eyes, Or head. Or face. Or whatever. My children gave no more thought to the color of another person’s skin than they did to that person’s shoe size. That was not a good thing?

Anonymous said...

Anonymous, what does Affirmative Action have to do with this article? What appears to have happened is that a group of parents banded together to ensure their children's success. Since NONE of you (you or Abell) are black, I doubt you can appreciate the affirmative ignorance of your statement and how it could be taken. Jennifer, you need not look any further than LaPlata High to see people of color being treated badly. Treatment that could force children and parents to feel unwelcomed there and band together to get through it. The reason is probably because YOUR children did not have to deal with that BS. Look into that and work to solve it. It's literally happening right under your nose.

LegalBeaglette said...

At first, I agreed with you, Anonymous @ 3:11: This did not seem to me to be an “affirmative action” issue: a group of parents dedicated time and effort to their children’s educational success – a group that does not appear to have been school sponsored.

Except – if Club 2012 was restrictive, allowing only participation by minority students and parents, I am not so sure. “Affirmative action” refers to policies, or efforts made in any regard, to increase the participation or representation of “minority” groups in employment, education or business.

It would be interesting to learn whether such a group would have been permitted to hold such a “private” graduation ceremony in a Charles County public school, because while Club 2012 is:

(Policy 1333): “…devoted primarily to instructional programs and other school-approved activities. The Board of Education allows the use of public school facilities and grounds for community activities and events to support the following objectives:

to develop a sense of community by utilizing public schools to bring people together;
to provide opportunities for Charles County citizens to pursue interests in various leisure and self-improvement activities;
to provide activities which will enhance the mental and physical development of persons involved;
to complement existing school programs during and beyond school hours;
to minimize the duplication of activities between the Board of Education, the Office of Community Services, and other agencies; and
to provide more efficient use of resources within the community.”

the Superintendent’s Rules:

(Rule 1333.03) state ”The following activities by outside groups are prohibited regardless of sponsorship:

· Parties, celebrations, and activities that are essentially private in nature (including birthdays, anniversaries, showers, wakes, and other similar activities).”

So, while this is a “private” celebration, it is also an effort…albeit by private individuals…to promote minority achievement, which the public school system is committed to support. So while Club 2012 may not have been sponsored by the school system, its activities may have been supported by it insofar as making the facilities available – for the “private” graduation ceremony… or parent group meetings or parent/student study sessions or whatever. And if that is the case, then this would, in fact, seem to be an “affirmative action” issue.

What do you think?