by: Wm Jackson, M.Edu.
Parent, STEAM Educator and Blogger
There are many responsibilities required of fathers as they take hold of the mantle of being a
father; there are very little qualifications that are present to provide guidelines to be a good
father. There is not a tell all book, there isn’t a Dummies book for Fathers, there isn’t a
technical manual for daddies to study and there is not a state or national assessment that has
to be passed.
Ronnie Cage (Jacksonville, Florida), a noted trainer and consultant has passionately stated
on numerous occasions that fathers need mentors and training to prepare them for the rigors
and responsibilities of being a father. It is important for young fathers to be taught how to
be dads. Fatherhood is not a cultural, race or financial issue in itself, it is a responsibility
that a father makes, to be the best parent his children will need in their journey to adulthood.
Mr. Cage, stated at “Fathers Calling Fathers”, “a real man takes care of his kids.”
This care comes no matter the financial situation a father puts his children first over his
needs. Fathers cannot afford to turn their backs on any child, because the consequences are
literally life and death for children.
Since the writing of the Bible, Torah, the Quran and other religious doctrine, a father’s
responsibility has been spelled out. To provide for his family, care for his children and to
educate, nurture, council, and lead their children; the family comes before the father.
Young fathers are looking for answers to their duties and responsibilities because too
many struggle with their roles, they struggle with the mothers of their children that are
too young themselves to be mature and competent mothers and even grandmothers are
younger, still trying to look cute, glamorous and sassy trying to get their life together.
The questions of a father’s role are personal challenges that need to be talked about.
The media presents a dynamic model of fatherhood based on comedy, tragedy,
tradition and even religious conjecture. When a father abandons his family the next
generation becomes lost with no guidance, generational curses begin to manifest
themselves and attack where the head of the family use to be. The statistics of single
parent homes, growing economic poverty of children and homelessness of women
and children shows that the foundation of communication is declining, fathers and
men are not doing their jobs. Evidence is seen in schools when male children are
hurting emotionally and psychologically, they are “hard” with their actions and
surrounding themselves with a shell to shield themselves from feelings of abandonment
and neglect by the person that helped create them and is supposed to be there to raise them.
The birth of a child is becoming equivalent to the physiological and psychological
passing of a bowel movement. Too many fathers are neglecting their children and not
accepting the responsibility that once was filled with pride and accountability.
Being a father is a choice, a decision that is based more on the actions of a man than
on his verbal commitment to make a promise to help raise a child. Statistical
data shows that too many fathers are abandoning their children. The physical evidence
is seen the classrooms of schools where young children Black, White, Hispanic and other
cultures are angry at a world they are exploring to find their individual ways. The
process of discovery is complicated because there is no father to help guide, mentor,
discipline and model for them.
“Fathers Calling Fathers” meeting provided by Save Our Sons (Pastor John Guns of
St. Paul Missionary Baptist Church of Jacksonville, Florida provided a platform for
fathers of all ages and generations to share wisdom, frustrations, hopes, dreams,
successes and most importantly developing and sharing solutions for fathers that want
to be better. The time for indecision, excuses and anger directed towards society, the
entertainment industry, baby mama drama, and other challenges are excuses and
need to be stopped.
Solutions are important for the bond of a father and child, simplistically “Iron Sharpens Iron”
requiring the breaking of generational curses. During the dynamic and at times emotional
discussion of fathers even the Supt. of Duval County Public School, Dr. Vitti offered his
ideas and opinions being a father, Mayor Alvin Brown provided motivation and words of
encouragement. Solutions ranged but implementation is needed.
Fathers should learn it is OK to love and show love. Fathers need to be leaders and proactive
by taking their children with them when they can during their daily traveling. Fathers should
keep God first and understand the importance of a strong religious background based on
Biblical teaching. Fathers need to recognize their strengths and weaknesses to prepare them
for the challenges and temptations of the world. Fathers should surround themselves with
positive people, because they will influence the parent and the child and fathers need to
be willing to sacrifice for their children.
It is hoped that the next Save Our Sons event further allows young fathers to be counseled
and mentored by fathers involved with their children and the cycle stops of abandonment and
neglect. Save Our Sons is creating a paradigm shift with fathers, building men that have
role models, mentors and importantly someone to listen to the frustrations, successes and
joys being a father.
Volunteering with Save Our Sons
To volunteer for Save Our Sons call (904) 595-6105 or go to www.facebook.com/SaveOurSonsInc
NFL Baltimore Ravens Player and his Wife who is a teacher make an Education rap for the state student exam
For the first time in forty years, national high school graduation rates have made remarkable gains. But are they real?
Experts in the field suggest that schools are taking advantage of bureaucratic tricks to artificially increase their numbers. These tactics include labeling dropouts as transfers, encouraging home schooling for their most troubled students, or creating alternative systems such as computer-based ‘credit recovery courses.’
Youth Commission members (r-l) Jude Bruno, chair; Brenda Abreu-Molnar; Anyssa Chebbi; and Emily Freeman, pose with students and faculty from Belen Jesuit Preparatory School. The boys, members of the school’s new Social Studies Honor Society, were one of three winning teams in the commission’s first “It Ought to be an Ordinance” competition.
The lobbyists approach the lectern. Taking the lead, a spokesman says:
“It’s no secret that today in government we see a lot of political divide at every step of government…. This is one of those rare areas in politics where both sides can really get along, albeit for different reasons.”
If only this were in the halls of Congress. But perhaps even better, it’s at County Hall in Miami-Dade, Fla. The “lobbyists” are a group of high school students participating in the county youth commission’s first “It Ought to be an Ordinance” competition.
The team was proposing that the roofs of all county buildings be painted white to save energy, and that incandescent lighting be replaced by fluorescents or LED bulbs — measures, it said, that could save the county more than 20 percent on its annual electric bills.
“Democrats champion the cause of helping the environment, where as Republicans champion fiscal responsibility,” the Belen Jesuit Preparatory School team’s spokesman said. “This accomplishes both at the same time.”
read more here
“Social Media can be our best friend or worst enemy.”
Jacksonville Urban League – Leadership Summit
The ability of Facebook to allow educators to share their thoughts, ideas, and feelings has created a platform that questions just because you can say something, do you say something and encourages, think before posting on any Social Media platform.
The recent firing of counselor, Karon Wright after she made statements concerning the death of several people in the West, Texas fertilizer explosion, sparked discussions of First Amendment rights of Freedom of Speech and being responsible for what is stated as an educator.
The statement leading to her firing stated by school district comments made reference that her statements were, “highly offensive, insensitive to the tragedy happening to our friends and neighbors in the West, and disrespectful to the very human bond that we share with the people of the West, especially those who have lost their loved ones.”
Social Media allows for quick and unfiltered comments, this content represent the person and how they perceive events, people and situations at their level of understanding. Educators need to remember they are held to a higher standard when commenting on situations and circumstances
in light of public events.
The counselor employed in Grand Prairie ISD was fired for making very poor judgment and insensitive comments on Facebook. Karon Wright was immediately fired after school administrators received word of a Facebook comment she made on television stations
(WFAA-TV) Facebook page regarding the explosion in West, Texas.
Educators should never allow frustrations and personal challenges to prompt posting of inappropriate content online. A professional educator should always remember to reposition and refocus their minds to that of professional educators and the responsibilities they have to the public. Even when not in the classroom or on school campuses, educators are held accountable
for their actions, including online postings.
In Pickering v. Board of Education case, the Supreme Court held that it’s not a First Amendment violation to dismiss probationary teachers for what they say or write, if their speech involves
merely personal things or if the speech might disturb the workplace. Unprofessional and inappropriate Internet postings by college students can be used to prevent them from entering the
teaching profession. This shows unprofessional judgment and lack of responsibility for the potential effects of their postings. Young teachers are prone to make rash and unconsidered comments when using Social Media.
Social Media has created a paradigm shift in the exposure educators are receiving. Vocal words carry weight, but are not alone now with text, pictures and video being used to judge the instructional abilities and professionalism of educators. That being said, teachers
should be mindful of their online content that is not temporary, but will remain online for years. Online content can present a distraction that may cause unforeseen professional
The debate continues on an educator’s privacy as individuals, but in the field of education in many ways educators and administrators loose privacy when working in the public spotlight in a profession that has great exposure. Working with children automatically puts educators in the spotlight and with the progress of interactivity on Social Media platforms, growth in Social Networks, and integration of Web 3.0 protocols (tools) online content is scrutinized even more
whether teachers like it or not.
In any social media situation educators should be careful of what is said about students, their families, politics and other discussions.
Posted on the web site “The Drum” it is stated about teachers and students that, ”teachers (should) keep their private and professional lives separate.” The statement has proved challenging because increased access to Social Media has created a hyper-sensitivity to information.
Online information has ramification for years. As I have shared in presentations with teachers the way you present yourself online in social media today may be scrutinized for over 5 years. Teacher evaluations may also be subjected to Social Media postings as professional behaviors.
Teacher’s will need professional development in media literacy, Marketing and Branding themselves in this digital world. The ability to think critically is important when posting and replying to Social Media content.
Teachers, administrators and support staff should remember that anything posted online will never go away, it will always be located some place. Simplistically do not share or post any information about any student in a social media environment even if you think your security or personal settings will protect you. THEY WILL NOT!!! Be cautious about posting your
ideas and opinions on social issues, religious issues and political issues that may seem demeaning, insensitive and destructive. You do have the right to free speech, not demeaning or slanderous.
Educators should make sure that information posted is not out of frustration, aggravation and argumentation. Social media is not the place to vent and even to be sarcastic. You never know who could be reading your entries, looking at your photos and videos, importantly
who could be telling others what you said. In the digital age information is never discarded, it is archived, stored and housed on a computer sever some place. That is why those in professional positions as educator, physicians, law enforcement, etc must be mindful of the information they create and share. It could be used against you in the future and has happened in recent court cases against educators and even Homeland Security officials.
Posted on Teachers and the Dangers of Social Networking (2011) a reminder that, “teaching is a public profession and it’s a public image issue.” An educator’s private information through social media is made public. As we teach students, education will empower us to make intelligent
decisions that affect our lives. Use information and knowledge to empower and protect yourself as professional educators and role models in our respective communities.
More information to support teachers and social media can be found at:
NEA Social Media Nightmares
NPR – Teachers Beware of Facebook
Texas Counselor Fired