By: Dennis Maurice Dumpson
Most of my blogs have a marketing twist, but this one has nothing to do with that at all. In light of Trayvon Martin's death, case, and questions of justice; one teacher tried to teach her students how they can be part of the conversation. She knew how important it is to give students opportunities to bring real-world experiences into the classroom. Her mainly African-American students wanted to know more about Trayvon Martin’s death, and Ms. Harris seized the teachable moment. Many would think this would be a good thing, but no, she was fired. Brooke Harris was fired from the Pontiac Academy for Excellence in Michigan after helping her students organize a fundraiser for Trayvon Martin’s family. Yup, that's the same face I made... PISSED ME OFF. I'll explain. *Note: I kind of 'GO IN' on this blog...but I give no apologies. CLICK READ MORE Below.
Deal In Order To Heal
I have had many valuable lessons over my life. I have had great success, failure, and the journey has been sweet and sour. Yet, the one thing I know for sure if that no matter what your life has been, you MUST embrace ALL OF IT -- Good and Bad. You can't live a life full of shame about the road you've traveled and conversely, you can't share history of our collective lives and experiences with shame covering the story. It happened. Now deal in order to heal. Cases like this are exactly why this country, our communities, and people lead delusional lives that do not reflect their own personal greatness, because we want to stuff all the bad things away -- pushed out of existence as if they are not part of reality. Well let me share something -- this ain't a fairytale. Life comes with ups, downs, lows, and highs. It is our responsibility to teach children the importance of supporting justice, how to do your part in contributing to social issues, and (probably most importantly) how to heal while hurt.
Nope, Not Dealing With That...
Somewhere along the line, we have become so shamed of the road that we've decided to ignore the reality and throw everything into the box of things we don't want to deal with.
Priests, Pastors, and Pedophiles have molested young children in the U.S. and across the globe for well over a century in front of the face of government, justice officials, and those charged to protect us -- yet for years upon years we've said, nope...not dealing with that; Bullying of children and their subsequent suicide are at an obscene high but when filmmakers want to share real stories of this torment with schools about the dangers of it, the Department of Education/Independent Schools denied their students to view it --- again, nope...not dealing with that; A mother switches her address so her children can be in a better school district and the solution...arrest her (not figure out why she felt the need to make such a drastic move and what may need to change in the schools) -- nope...not dealing with that.
Sleeping In Sewage and Ignoring The Stench
How much longer are we going to allow our children to be ashamed on our behalf? How much longer are we going to deny harsh realities and continue to fill Lady Liberty's box with more forgotten stories and truth never confronted? We are teaching kids to rot and store -- got feelings, got thoughts, got memories, got views...no use for them here, might as well box them up.
We are killing the future. So, the next time we see a child, teenager, young person, etc. acting without concern or reverence for right or wrong -- otherwise emotionless -- know that it is because we continue to raise children to box up their concern, care, and reverence for humanity. We must know that we have taught them how to sleep in sewage and ignore the stench.
Bravo to Ms. Brooke Harris for not ignoring the stench and allowing children to understand that they, too, can help make things better. However, I am sure there are many other schools that will value your heroism and educational philosophy.
For more information about this case and to learn how you can support Ms. Harris visit: http://www.change.org/petitions/fired-for-teaching-about-trayvon-re-hire-brooke-harris-at-pontiac-academy-for-excellence#
About the Author
Dennis Maurice is an author, publicist, fundraiser, marketer, and culture enthusiast in Philadelphia, Pa. Learn more at: http://www.dennismaurice.com