It takes a village to succeed

Published 8:11pm Tuesday, January 7, 2014

The saying “It takes a village to raise a child” is more of an action axiom than rhetoric line for political and other campaigns. It simply means that a village has to be cohesive enough to ensure that every child in the village succeeds.

No doubt that the bulk of the responsibility for raising a child is the parents’ but in order to represent that village that raises effective children, every body must partake. When you see a student, that you know well enough to talk to, on the street when that person is supposed to be in school, I don’t see any reason for not asking the student and offering advice.

Two weeks ago, a head coach who is a friend of the family saw one of my sons at a basket ball game at Selma High School, and after chatting with him, he told my son to go straight home after the game. That’s what I’m talking about. The coach never called me to get glory but it was my son who told me about it. When you care, your actions depict it.

Look, it’s no fallacy that people are drawn and respect those that care and help them. Of what use is wealth of experience if it is not utilized in making others and self better. I have observed a situation where some people acting as judges saw no hope in a teenager getting better simply because the teenager’s family is supposedly bad and as such he deserves no mercy or help. I know an instance where a person changed to become a respectable member of a community simply because some adults saw the young man’s potential and insisted on becoming positive mentors.

This year may be the year that our board will reassess our policy to ensure that no part of our policy pushes children away to streets where they get worse, instead of pulling them closer and showing them the right way. If you wisely teach a child the way to go, the chances of departing from it are very slim.

We need a village where most residents do not only see what the child is not capable of doing but also see what the child is capable of doing; we need a village where residents separate a person from what a member of his family said or did; and we need a village where encouragers are celebrated.

We shouldn’t condone evil or support what ever wrong a student did. The verity is that everybody in the village must agree that all children in the community have bright futures and act accordingly regardless of the apparent impediments.

The idea of not pushing students to the troubled streets, but offering them the expertise of our counselors and other assistances designed to change behavior is gaining increased support by some community leaders, juvenile justice officials, judges, police chiefs, and other law enforcement officers.

For such approach to get their approval, indicates that there is validity to the claim that its advantages surpasses it disadvantages.

What used to take students to a principal’s office for disciplinary measures should not, now, take them to jail or streets where they fall behind in behavior and academics.

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