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Ozen High email…

Posted by ekkin on Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Okay I am not racist, but I have laugh at this one, because from what I know about Ozen (being from Kirbyville), isn’t the majority of that school African American? Seems to defeat the purpose, but here’s the story for you anyway.

An e-mail sent out about helping low-performing students at Ozen High School caused some confusion Monday.Assistant Principal Elvena Colbert sent out an e-mail stating that all black male students were to sit on the front row in classrooms.

Principal James Broussard later sent out an e-mail urging staff to disregard the one distributed by Colbert.

Broussard’s e-mail explained that the intent was to identify students who received low Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills scores.

Then, teachers would have those students sit toward the front of the class or change the seating chart so they could be more easily engaged in classroom discussions, said Willis Mackey, Beaumont assistant superintendent.

He said teachers have tried to brainstorm ways to help student succeed.

“People want to beat (students) down and talk down at them,” he said. “We need to have the ones who are not successful and put them on the front row. Kids who are not excelling need special attention. … Why are we letting kids sit on the back row and fall asleep or look out the window?”

He said it is not a black and white issue but one about economically disadvantaged students.

Coming up with ways to help low-performing black male students was the topic at a recent meeting of the 100 Black Men of Greater Beaumont.

Data shows that this group performed poorly, with only 50 percent passing state assessments in math and science, Mackey said.

At that meeting, a local pastor asked what could be done to help the black students at Ozen and Central high schools, Mackey said.

Mackey, who visits Ozen about four times a week and sees how teachers are trying to come up with inventive ways to encourage students, urged members of the group to identify low-performing students and mentor them throughout the year.

Vernon Durden, 100 Black Men chairperson, said Monday’s messages were taken out of context.

“The e-mail was a good-intentioned e-mail,” he said. “It wasn’t meant to be demeaning. It is another method to tell our boys, ‘We want you to take a lead role in your education. We want you to be men.'”

The group also launched a program to encourage men to take a more active role in their children’s education by dropping them off at school and mentoring.

The main intent is for our males to be more involved because the females are doing well in schools,” Durden said.

“They (the young men) need to sit in front of the classroom and not in the back dozing off. … There is no intent of anybody for all the black kids to go to the front or black males to go to the front.”

He added members of the group want the low-performing students to be more aggressive about their education by paying attention in class and not “pass notes” or “goof off.”

Roberto Flores, League of United Latin American Citizens, said on the outset it seemed to forget other groups but that once he understood the goal was to encourage low-performing students it made sense.

“I think everything got lost in interpretation,” Flores said, adding he understands how some students want to just skate by in school.

hahaha, so instead of saying that the kids that scored low on testing, he just decided to make the message short and sweet. Now to be serious, that’s kind of messed up, but if you can’t laugh, you are stupid.


One Response to “Ozen High email…”

  1. James said

    Sounds like racial profiling to me. Isn’t that supposed to be wrong? I understand he means well and is trying to solve a real problem, but it is messed up and sort of funny too.

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