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Gridiron dreams, false hope and false promises

Dion-HenryGridiron dreams, false hope and false promises

By Dedrick D. Henry, Sr./ Neighborhood Unisex

I found time at the barbershop this past week to mention private school education compared to public school education and their sports’ programs. The feedback I received on both subjects were thought provoking and informative with total participation from all in attendance. Even some students who attend or have attended both private and public schools had input. A teacher even added her knowledge having worked at a local public high school and a local prestigious private school for many years. She saw first-hand the struggles of teaching and the lack of parental support.

 “Believe it or not some parents are more concerned with their son going to practice than him going to study hall or tutoring.” – D. Henry


Our conversation went something like this:

Parents need to know children need guidance and support more than the team needs him/her to help their school win another championship. High school is the last step before most teen-agers enter the real world, so this needs to be a conscious and rewarding decision for both student and parent. I understand some of these private schools may have better opportunities and great chances of meeting quality people and definitely more advanced purchased coaches, but they do not and cannot get you into college.

Only you can get you into college or even college prepared. Your total performance is the only thing that can get you into college, both academically and athletically. Academics being the greater of the two and much longer-lasting in this thing called life. Private institutions do provide structure and a sense of arrangement for a child who does not have it in their life. And most private school students do not have to pass the dreadful FCAT.

But, more than likely most public school transfers into private schools have to be tutored to meet the private school’s requirements, making them work that much harder literally only for acceptance. And having attended private school, believe me when I say racism is in full blast in and out of the classrooms at most private institutions. Parents need to know that if the child is failing in public school, they are going to fail in private school and maybe even at a faster rate, jeopardizing their possible scholarship and future.

Private schools only want our talented and athletic Black boys and girls for State Championships, school prestige, and dominance. And it’s sad to say that some pa-rents have fallen in-to this stigma and are blinded to the ulterior motive of some of these private institutions. I realize that everybody wants to be a winner, but earn your victory. Don’t allow everything to be given to you.  If not careful, this concept will trickle down to your offspring and their future success in life. Yes, they may earn a scholarship for their athletic skills, but education and self value is much more important in the real world.

Some parents allow this decision to be made for their own exposure and acceptance which is pure ignorance, Just to say, “My child goes to St. Martha’s Football High he has 30 touch-downs.”

“Yeah, because they’re running him like a slave,” I say.

Public schools offer the same opportunities when it comes to education and even more since the inception of the FCAT. Some student-athletes just are not applying themselves. There are tutoring programs and extra credit assignments given to all public school failing students, and there are home-work hotlines, charter schools, study groups and just as much help as there is at a private school for failing stu-dents.

At a private school, a star player would probably be allowed to play in a big game with bad grades, because the school doesn’t care about him failing; they only care about winning the game. The more games won the more money the school receives from alumni. The only thing these private institutions have that public schools lack is proper funding and full parent participation in the total success of their child. Public schools offer them many diverse cultures, traditions, education, and insight from teachers who look and talk like them and who have seen or been through what they may be going through. This experience in itself will help to build a relationship between teacher and student.

A parents’ main concern for their child should be their education, not depending on their child’s athletic ability to achieve success. Some of these private institutions are giving these parents a false since of security, security that will only last for four years, if that. There is no lifetime contract in the National Football League, but a Ph.D or a BS will last past their lifetime.


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