The great years...

Hello people!, this writing has been on the wall for years. With many of its feeder elementary and junior high schools closing these past few years you had to know it was only a matter of time. The real question here is what has been occurring the preceding several years. Why is it now that a few people decide it’s bad to close North?

The problem on the north side is the lack of early child education and more importantly, proper parenting and child guidance. How bad is it when several years ago it was suggested to parents to move their kids out of the north side schools if they want their kids to get a decent chance at an education? Perhaps what the school district might have done at the time is implement more strict programs and guidelines for having children in the Minneapolis public schools. The cost per child to “educate” kids in the Minneapolis schools is the highest in the state. That is because the schools are being called upon to raise or parent these kids as well as educate them. Parenting is not supposed to be a role for schools. That responsibility is on the parents.

I would like to know why the NAACP is so involved in this issue. Shouldn’t the school’s PTA be taking the lead in trying to save the school? Where is the parent-teacher partnership? I’m sure the teachers show up because they have to, they are paid to do so. Do parents show up? Do parents volunteer to be hall monitors? Do parents get involved in the school’s academic and extra-curricular school related events? Do parents volunteer to help academically challenged kids, and do those kids’ parents help? Where is the local outcry from the children and parents to get help, to improve things. Why was the situation allowed to simmer for years and nothing done about it? It’s too late now.

The new North High was built to accommodate 1800 plus students. Today, enrollment is about 300, with only 40 in the freshman class. The facility is now being used to house other activities and business to justify keeping the doors open. It is time to move the remaining kids to other schools and lease out the building for other uses. If I was a kid in high school, I wouldn’t want to go to a school that is being shared by other businesses and activities. I would want to go to a school I could proudly proclaim as my school.

With the shrinking school age population, this could be the right time for the Minneapolis public schools to make a change in how they operate the system, especially in the areas of socio-economic distress. I think it’s time to get a program together to specifically train or mentor parents on the importance of raising their children to be good students. I know there is probably something like that in place now, but obviously it’s not working. There was a meeting last night regarding the situation with North High School. It was reported there were 150 people in attendance. I would like to know how many of that 150 were actual parents of kids at North, and how many were neighborhood or NAACP activists. The parents are the shareholders, not the NAACP and not the same old “neighborhood activists” that show up at every newsworthy event on the north side. I want to know what the parents of kids at North, and at the feeder junior high and elementary schools say. This whole controversy needs to be taken out of the realm of race. The powers that be need to step back and analyze the issues and act according to what is best for the kids. Ethnicity should have nothing to do with it. If the loudmouths that want to make race the issue, they need to be removed from the situation. This is about what the parents, shareholders, and the school kids are going to do. Let the shareholders and the school system fix the problems.

My dad graduated from North High School, as did both of my uncles. When they attended North High, it was considered one of the top academic high schools in the country. My uncle recently told us again about the athletic prowess of North. They were strong in all sports. I’d like to hear from residents of North Minneapolis. I want to know what happened? How did it go from being a great academic and athletic power to where it is today?

It’s time to end the excuses. It’s time to get into the north side and clean it up. Get the drug traffickers, prostitutes, gangs, and the rest of societal shit that has taken over that part of the city out of there.

Introduce some strong law enforcement measures, clean the human garbage from the streets, begin new programs to mentor kids in the neighborhood, get s powerful and positive mandatory program for parents of school age kids. They must attend in order for their kids to be in school. Institute a volunteer program for parents that will put them into the schools to help and observe exactly what happens in school.

Minneapolis has the dubious distinction of having the worst high school graduation by race ratio in the country. The grad rate for white kids is amongst the highest in the country and the grad rate for kids of color or ethnic difference is one of the lowest, thus making it such a sad and embarrassing statistic. The answer is to not separate out the kids of color and “molly coddle” them. The answer is to put together a positive but strict program that is ethnically blind. A program that gets parents involved soon after the birth of their kids, that focusses on early child education at home and in school. A program that requires parental involvement from pre-school through high school graduation. The biggest cost that any entity will incur will be that of time, by the parents, the shareholders, of the public schools.

My desire is to get the north side back to what it was when I was a kid. Great neighborhoods, great homes where the pride of ownership glowed, safe streets and parks, and neighbors helping neighbors to pull together for the common good of North Minneapolis! Thanks for today’s read.
Cam Obert


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