Dear white educators,
If you’ve ever taught at a low-income school with a lot of black or brown kids, I’d bet you’ve shown the movie “Stand and Deliver.”
First, San Diego Unified school board trustee John Lee Evans brought up the movie as a way to call into question VOSD’s reporting on the district’s graduation rate. Then, Southwest Middle School teacher Keith Ballard brought it up in a conversation about his experience creating a music program in a low-income school.
“In 2010, when Ballard was brought in by then-Superintendent Jesus Gandara to turn the program around, he said he felt like Edward James Olmos’ character in the 1988 film Stand and Deliver. The odds seemed like they were stacked against him,” the Union-Tribune reported.
We get it. You love that movie. But on behalf of all students of color everywhere, please stop. It’s old, cliché and downright offensive.
We Stand Up for You. Will You Stand Up for Us?
Castle Park High School, shown in the photo, is in the Sweetwater Unified School District -- not San Diego Unified.
@Walter Baranger Yes, where the author of the article went to high school.
I hope the writer of this commentary saves a copy to read in 20 years. The added maturity will be valuable in recognizing the unbalanced presentation of ideas. The commentary contains youthful hubris and is tinged with latent racism. I know it's trendy these days to believe that people of color cannot be racist. I suggest the writer take two years to travel and live overseas to gain a deeper appreciation of what this country has to offer in spite of all its deficiencies. Sub-Saharan Africa would be a great place to start. The ethnic and class discrimination would be an eyeopener.
Good teachers are good teachers. Color of skin should not matter. Age should not matter. The disturbing reality emerging in Sweetwater High School District: It has become trendy to criticize white, older teachers. SUHSD ALLOWS THEIR VETERAN TEACHERS TO BE ABUSED,
At Sweetwater Union High School District, the older a teacher gets, especially a female white teacher, the less respect they are given. Male Latino principals are openly racist to the older female teachers, moving them out of their classrooms, giving their classrooms to the younger, Latino teachers. Our kids suffer through this. Good teachers are lost, and nobody at SUHSD seems to care. Jaime Escalante was a good teacher. Being a teacher these days is deflating and depressing when everyone wants to criticize AND THERE IS NO SUPPORT. We need every good teacher we have, and we cannot afford to lose our teachers. Teachers need to be appreciated. Stop the rampant white-teacher abuse. Teachers get depressed from this abuse, Many teachers lose hope, get cancer, and die before they can retire. Teachers work hard, and have families and kids just like everyone else. Quit treating teachers like dirt. Quit the anti-white racism. This abuse is not good for any of us. We need ALL of our teachers.
Answer? Be real. To be utterly truthful, I do not have instant rapport with the over 12 group. I do have instant rapport with the under 12 group. The movies mentioned in this article are about Hollywood just like the "hood" flicks of Compton. Kids and families in those communities know what really goes on. And, what really goes on are real people trying to make it through the day. They know "whuz up". There is drama in every neighborhood in America. And, every American wants "it all". Who wouldn't like a paid for Maserati in a paid for house on Mulholland Drive with the rest of their life paid for?
It is extremely presumptuous on the part of, well, well meaning people that people, kids do not know "whuz up". It is human nature to excel. And, it is the role of a teacher to exude a "can do" attitude. Because in the final analysis, each child in each classroom has a destiny, a passion, they want to fulfill. To have high expectations by a mentor adequately defines that role.
Jaime Escalante just didn't understand bilingual education. He didn't really understand teaching. He understood only how to communicate what he knew to the children. Michael Jordan can't do that. Only a teacher can transmit to the new generation the basic truths. There are soccer teams with the best players in high school. But, only a teacher can convey the simplicity of what needs to be accomplished. And,hopefully, there is communal success.
Kids from the "hood" can't. Can't what? That just hurts. Robert F. Kennedy had to reinvent himself to understand that "can't" doesn't exist.
What "Stand and Deliver" did was focus on the struggles of kids with huge obstacles had to overcome. But, the reality is all kids come to some crucible in life. And, those with the inner strength, the support system, and the tenacity will succeed.
It's easy to look at a child and say "no". It's much harder to listen to that child and say "yes", making the Hollywood films inspirational,but kinda irrelevant.
I do understand the objection the children have to good, inspirational, but...really....irrelevant movies.
Some where over the rainbow...is a good mantra.