Raines vs. Ribault
Raines Vs Ribault; The Duality of athletics and academics
The Vikings of Raines High School take on the Trojans of Ribault High School.
The atmosphere is building to an electrified level at Raines and Ribault, the
stands will be overflowing to capacity. Alumni will remember clashes of past
football glory days. The smell of hotdogs, hamburgers, chili, popcorn and
even crabs will permeate the air.
There will be pep rallies, banners of encouragement, school fight songs
sung, the band will be ready to perform at half time and all supporting
persons are in their respectable places. Coaches will refine their speeches
and players will put on their game faces well before the Saturday evening
event. The media will be ready to digitally catch every play and display
every statistic about player performance and coaches play calling.
Even Sam Kouvaris will have a comment or two on the six and eleven
new shows. This is a possible scene from the upcoming Raines and
Ribault football game this weekend Saturday, November 5th at Ribault
High School starting at 2:00pm. On the other side of this coin the division
of athletics and academics; the need is there, but where are the men
Men are needed to be more involved in the school, with this knowledge
of need it is not as hard as it sounds to be a mentor, volunteer, role
model or even to help tutor a child in school; it takes a healthy passion
and honest concern for students to be successful in school and life.
Responsible, concerned and mature men can help young men be
successful and overcome challenges that distract them from academic
success. Men that are past alumni of these great schools need to help
the academic community now. Men/fathers that are blue and white
collar workers, business leaders, those serving in the clergy, and
community organizers are needed in schools across this county.
Construction workers, nurses, law enforcement, doctors, lawyers,
custodians, lawn care specialists, even those who are in Waste
Management your skills to talk to youth are needed.
Mothers have traditionally been the intercessor for schools.
However the challenges youth are experiencing in school and
community are demanding men to make a commitment and be
active to the duties as mentors, volunteers and even tutors. It is
imperative for men to go into the schools and contribute to the
education of school age young men. There are results when men
show concern and participate consistently; social behavior improves,
academic growth is evident in grades and testing, overall respect
for teachers improves, and graduation rates go up. This weekend
the stadium will be filled, why can’t men attend parent/teacher
conferences, school board meetings, Open House, and other
school related activities that are off field and have academic
Men/fathers are judged by their actions, they should
be judged by their positive contributions to raising their children
and improving their communities. They should not be judged
by how many women they slept with, how many blunts they smoked.
Men should not be judged by how many times they have been
to prison, how many children they fathered, but cannot financially
or emotionally support. This is a truth that cannot be denied or
disputed. This is not a complete truth, there are successes in
parenting, but more men/fathers need to be involved in helping
support education not just athletics.
Validation of Data
Data validates men being involved in children’s lives; schools
should be providing men an opportunity to participate in events
geared just to them to help with social behavior and guidance to
academic achievement for children especially boys. Data has
shown that a dad’s absence in the home through separation,
divorce, incarceration and in some cases extended military service
leads to dangerous trends for children’s behavior (NHES ’96/‘NCES ’97).
When students get to middle and high school they are confronted
with the pressures of performance academic standards, state
assessments, peer pressure, drugs and pressures to have sex, so
the need for a strong male figure is needed to lend an ear to talk
about teen pressures and provide positive advice. The statistics that
children who grow up without a father/role model are five times more
likely to live in poverty, nine times more likely to drop out of school
and twenty times more likely to end up in prison, Fatherhood Facts
Children with involved fathers/men are significantly more likely to
do well in school, have a healthy self esteem, exhibit empathy and
pro-social behavior, and avoid high risk behaviors such as drug use,
truancy, and criminal activity. Sports a Key Role Sports can play a
key role in helping youth to gain discipline, self control, and maturity,
build self esteem and create high expectations for success.
The issue is not everyone will play sports. Coaches fill a void as a
father figure, mentor and guide, but students who don’t have this
Theodore Roosevelt said “to educate a man in mind and not in
morals is to educate a menace to society”; mentors and volunteers
contribute to the overall holistic growth of the students.
Educational Levels The educational level of mentors should not
hinder their contribution. There are some things a book nor computer
can teach, a computer cannot teach why a firm handshake, a
computer cannot teach looking a person in the eyes when speaking
to them, a book cannot effectively teach putting on a neck tie, nor
how to carry one’s self in a job interview, a book cannot teach
how and why to articulate words when speaking on a job and not using
slang, a book cannot instill in young men why they should pull their
pants up and wear a belt when going to school, church or work. I state
these things to improve a young man’s appearance and self confidence,
setting young men up for success and a continuation of freedoms from
mental and emotional stereotypical minority slavery. As a teacher in
public school and higher education for over 20 years, I see too many
youth being taught how to fail by wrong actions and wrong role models.
Malcolm X stated, “you can teach a child to succeed or fail by your
action or inaction.”
A Man/Father Legacy
In the Bible the understanding of leaving a positive legacy is known.
The Bible says in Hosea 4:6, "My people are destroyed from lack of
knowledge”. Teaching social behavior and etiquette is not in curriculums
nor addressed in state standards or benchmarks. Character traits like:
strong work ethic, honesty, humility, respect, the importance of responsibility,
accountability, and even ethics and morals need to be taught and modeled.
President Obama in his Third Annual Back To School speech spoke of ethics
and morality. Why have our young men of color not provided the opportunity
to listen to our President of the United States? He provides a “positive message”
with personal accounts, educational success stories that students can relate to
and honest dialogue on his life. He tries to let youth know they have great
potential and power to shape the world; education is the key to success and
Stated by Bob Wise, President of the Alliance for Excellent Education,
“The best economic stimulus package is a diploma”. We are becoming a
high tech society, but how can our young men compete when they have low
tech or no tech skills? How can they get into college when colleges don’t
want them? Men/fathers do make a difference so mentor/volunteer/tutor
in schools and make a difference in a young person’s life. Leave a positive
legacy behind. When a man or father reaches his final resting time he
should want to see he contributed in a positive way when his life flashes
before his eyes. Men/fathers should want to see something positive left
behind, don’t let the only thing remain is an empty seat at a football
stadium that people will fill with another butt. Support all the students and
all our schools and be involved.