UFOMADU: Community must support the schools

Published 4:20 pm Saturday, February 3, 2018

By Udo Ufomadu | Ufomadu is a former member of the Selma City Schools Board of Education

I strongly believe the community must unite to help what the state categorizes as failing schools.

When our school system flourishes, our city flourishes because businesses and good residents are attracted.

Consequently, this leads to more money for the city, better law enforcement, and better everything that the city is responsible for providing.

When issues of failing school arise, some people in the community hastily point fingers without considering all factors.

For the eight years I served this community on the Selma City School Board, I experienced some unimaginable disciplinary problems from our students.

I cannot unveil some details because I observed them in the executive session.

Some of these children believe you cannot tell them anything at any age but it gets worse the older they get.

It is so because someone unwisely tells them that the law is on their side.

The truth of the matter is that it is very difficult for these students with high level of disciplinary problems to effectively learn. Their intimidation, even, affects other students’ ability to learn. Motivation and discipline start at home and as parents, we must tell our children about Jesus and God the father — how they love and help; the importance of respect for teachers and fellow students; the dangers of not getting education. Parents should go to school when needed and if they can; don’t quickly take side upon arrival until you are sure of what is going on.  Teachers should spend more time educating and less time separating fights and watching their back.

Failing schools in our community cannot magically change by themselves.

I have watched a school go through some good principals and still continue to be listed as a failing school.

A leader can never be effective unless followers and supporters are following and supporting commendably. Support without being biased.

When I was on the school board, sometimes I went against our policies that would send some of these students home as a punishment.

I preferred the alternative school after realizing that the school was doing most, if not all, of the training of these students.

So sending them back to the street is repugnant to the principle of it takes a united village to raise a child and a prosperous community.

If you don’t pay proper attention, you will find yourself falling in love with policies more than the children.

If the students succeed the community succeeds.