Marion Brothers

Marion Brothers

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

A Day in the Life of a Community Organizer

9/9/2008 9:54 AM

Before 8 am this morning, I had a problem with the Fort Worth ISD. My grandson had to go to the emergency room because some school cafeteria worker forced a salad (with cheese) upon him for lunch. Eating cheese is as deadly to him as peanut butter is to some kids. But the cafeteria worker would not listen to him, nor inquire into his medical records.

By 10 am, I was able to pull up my email, only to find out that Brother Bernard, president of Dunbar High School Parent-Teacher Organization, is in jail. His case is a misdemeanor treated by the judge as a felon. The court refused him bail. Now Brother Bernard wants to put me on his visiting list, so I can come and hear this ridiculous case.

As I write, the school problem appears to be settled. The vice principle assured me that my grandson’s lunch diet would be changed. In the meantime, I am concerned because a child’s voice was summarily quashed. I suspect a school culture that is harsh to students who try to explain their situation or problem to school personnel. I suspect there is a get-tough-with-students attitude behind it, something endemic to ghetto public schools.

TOP OF THE MORNING: Deal with the reason why our schools are failing and why kids are dropping out. (Ref. “Back To School? For What? Bumbling Bureaucracy, Student Neglect, Failing Grades Dog Public Education” by Darwin Campbell, Lone Star Power Pages, September 8, 2008)

Did I ask for this? As a child rights advocate and community organizer, it is my inheritance.

You see, my morning started at 7 am with prayer and a cup of coffee. On Tuesday mornings, a few faithful brothers who oversee the church flock come together to go through a long list of prayer requests and rendered up prayer to God on behalf of each and every one of them.

And, the day is just now getting started.

9/9/2008 11:17 AM
Eddie Griffin


  1. What a trying day for you Eddie! Your grandson is lucky to have you as an advocate. So many children in school don't have people able or willing to act as an advocate. I have to say that I spent more time on behalf of my daughter when she was in school than when I was home educating her. Just getting her through the system meant I was in school, at meetings, raising money or on the phone trying to fix some problem. I always wonder when people say they don't have time to home school. I don't have time to not.

    Although, I realize this path isn't available to everybody, I'm seeing more and more students opting out of education for these reasons. Recently, I cam across a group of pastors in Chicago who were urging parents to keep their children home in protest. They had organized elders who were retired teachers to educate the children until the districts promised to improve. (Another group of pastors criticized the initiative.) But, I thought, now finally! Look at community organizing to educate their own! I lost the url - so I was unable to blog the story. But, thought I'd share it here. Parents, churches and elders can come together to make a better education possible for their children. In the meantime, every parent or concerned grandparent with a child in school is a community organizer.

  2. Christina, Thank you for your understanding. This is a subject we often discuss. Keep me posted, and I'll do the same.