David, good article, unfortunately I am in the war zone of these kids and experience on the grass root levels the problems and concerns of these families. I routinely attempt to be an advocate for these kids at school and the community, but there are obstacles placed fairly and unfairly. Hamilton County schools have an unwritten policy not to work with "troubled? Problematic youths" by suspensions, evening school, or expulsion from school. Our children need the encouragement from parents and educators to remain in school, but because of the lack of information and non-support from parents, our children are forgotten. Once a kid is involved in a negative act in school they are suspended and or expelled and the family has a certain number of days to make the appeal with the Central Office to have a hearing to allow the students to return. Lower income students and or inner city students may not have a phone for contact, may not have transportation to make appeal session, which in turn forces this child to remain out of school which leads to more negative acts and activities. Gangs then become family for our youths by offering more to our children than the school and friends. Once these children have experienced an arrest or involvement with the legal system, they in turn feel there are limited opportunities, which leads to more illegal acts to survive and provide for their family. The truth to the matter is that Chattanooga needs a school that targets youths to be able to gain working skills, changing oil, laying carpet, painting, lawn service, mechanic, plumbing, ect. We live in a FALSE WORLD, if people believe that all kids (lower income? inner city) are created equal, THAT'S JUST NOT TRUE!! There are kids that have an IQ that border M R,THERE ARE CHILDREN THAT ATTEND CERTAIN SCHOOLS IN THE COMMUNITY THAT ARE NOT EQUAL,, THAT IN FACT ARE NOT ALLOWED TO CARRY HOME BOOKS IN FEAR THAT THE BOOKS WON'T RETURN, but we as educators attempt to teach the same, ONCE THESE YOUTHS STRUGGLE IN A SCHOOL SETTING AND UNDERSTAND THEIR LIMITATIONS, THEN THE NEGATIVE BEHAVIORS BEGIN, DEFELECTING ATTENTION FROM NOT BEING CAPABLE OF UNDERSTANDING CERTAIN MATERIAL, so once again, the easy route, QUIT SCHOOL!!! ONCE OUR KIDS QUIT SCHOOL OR FORCED FROM SCHOOL AND HAVE LIMITED ABILITIES AND OR EDUCATION TO GAIN EMPLOYMENT, THEY THEN BEGIN ATTEMPTING TO FIND EASY WAYS TO MAKE MONEY, SELLING DRUGS, BREAKING IN HOMES, JOINING GANGS FOR PROTECTION, and monetary gains. ALTHOUGH I'M AN AFRICAN AMERICAN MALE WITH KIDS IN COLLEGE, I UNDERSTAND THE MOST IMPORTANT FACT ABOUT OUR COMMUNITY, WE WILL NOT REACH OUR FULL POTENTIAL AS A COMMUNITY OR CITY UNTIL THE LEAST OF US ARE STRIVING AND GETTING STRONGER!!!
Great game,,,,wish I was there!!!! TIMES FREE PRESS,,,MARK DRAGOO,,,PLEASE UNDERSTAND THAT WE AS FANS WOULD LIKE FOR YOU TO PLEASE TAKE INTO CONSIDERATION THAT FAMILIES WERE STANDING OUTSIDE IN THE COLD THE PAST FEW NIGHTS DUE TO THE SMALL GYM BEING AT CAPACITY,,,I WAS THERE TO WATCH MCCALLLIE AND TYNER AND HAD TO WAIT OVER 45 MINS FOR 5 PEOPLE TO LEAVE FOR 5 TO ENTER,,,RIDICULOUS