I want to address all the students of MPS. And no, the adults do not count in this one. I want to address this with you because of what was said about you that made you upset. It’s a matter of stating that what James Widgerson calling you collectively “little convicts” was very disturbing. He is an indeed a racist calling you that. So with that, here is a blog letter for you. 

Dear students of MPS:

It’s me, Stephen. And I am an Alum of the Milwaukee Public Schools.

In the last couple of days, and weeks you have been in the classrooms and I must say I wish your semester well. But in the last day and a half, you have been attacked by a grown man who labeled you as “little convicts” over the performance that continues to give the district of MPS a bad name. And the man that said it was a former students way older than you and I put together. The man, James Wigderson as I speak of was way out of line labeling you as failures being set up for the jail system. We knew what he said in his blog story. And what he said to the majority of you was again clearly stupid. It’s not your fault. And by the way, he’s an alum of MPS.

One of the Milwaukee Youth Council members had really to speak out on this matter and I must applaud the young lady, Emoni Gambrell-Toliver a student from Riverside University High School and President of the Youth Council for a chance to do that. If you have not read her statement regarding this matter, it’s a must read! Even if you are a critic of MPS.

I really hope that the build-up from all of this will decrease and also the value of our education in Milwaukee continue to rise up and prove those that it can be viable just like the outline areas outside of Milwaukee.

But we all know that today, James Wigderson was not apologizing for his remarks in the blog. He also stated that his words as a whole were not directed towards the entire students of MPS. It was about this one player, that went to Washington High School. I have to say that it was not factual. He knew what he was talking about. But just don’t want to deny that part of the truth of hating on all of you that WANT to make a difference in the world. Yes, I will agree he was hateful. He also claims that he backed school choice and charter schools and such. But he was not solid on you in general! For an extra commentary, he’s a coward. And even though his last days of education was at Vincent High School, I want to be clear that he has some soul searching in discovering that what he thought he saw was not just a concern, but to also ask what can be done to change it! I hate to say that there are those in the Alumni are real losers. Jealous that the opportunities you’re getting many of us didn’t get. And James is included in this also. He’s a loser! A racist vile hypocritical loser! And he does not care about you.

In the schools, we know there are things are not sharp enough. And I know that we see and read about the negative about MPS. But the thing is, what is missing from all this is positive! We need to read and see about your positive stories of what is going on into the schools. We need to read and see what you’re up to in a positive manner about what is up in the schools. Show us the receipts, as many of you would say! Show them to us at an Open House, a Concert, a Play, or even yes the football field or basketball court. For academics, I know that math, reading, and science are one of the subjects at hand, but show us what you’ve learned! Prove it to yourselves and us that you can do this!

MPS Students, you are indeed the future of our district. Future Alumni, Future Scholars, and future whatever it is that you want to be. Let us know what is happening in your schools. Your Games, Band and Orchestra, Debates, Communications, Mechanical Classes, and many others that you’re doing. Many of us alumni folks are so busy raising families and working to get very busy. We do. And we assumed what is taking place at the schools now is mostly negative. We want you: and I’m giving you an ongoing homework assignment here. I want you to tell us grown people that been there and done it, really tell us what is really going on in the schools. Tell us and show us your open house projects, your performances in concerts in all. Tell us how we the MPS Alumni can still support your schools! Tell us! We need to do this thing!

Before I leave you this message, I want to share this video clip from 1989:

This is from the movie called Lean on Me, which told the story of a high school in New Jersey that was once a prominent best school in the state was going poorly. But the principal played by Morgan Freeman had to do whatever necessary to get the school in the positive form. Morgan Freeman’s character was Joe Clark. And he had to lock down the school, dismiss the bad students that disrupted the school for a lot of years. Mainly drug dealers. He even challenged the students to reach their potential even if he had to make them sing the school song. This movie is based on a true story of a huge turnaround that captured the state of New Jersey. The reason why I put this clip here because Freeman’s Character Joe Clark was describing to the students what the rest of the world or the society thinks about them that want to succeed. Sound familiar?

I encourage all of you, who are high school students to get this movie. If not, ask your parents to get this movie for you and watch it over and over again. Don’t just watch the clips on youtube, watch the WHOLE movie! But I must warn you, it’s a bit graphic, mixed with overtones that might not be suitable for many. BUT GET THIS MOVIE! The prime example of this movie is the same example of this situation right now with MPS.

And also: gain from the “woke” moments of the movie that really stood out. Study them!

Finally, as I close, continue to do the things you do in the schools. Make it happen! EVERYDAY!

Sincerely,

Stephen

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s