Don’t blame education on economics

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Well, here we go again. It’s the “same ole,” “same ole.” Natchez’s problems revolve around “economic lines, which often translate into racial lines” (according to Sunday’s editorial).

No one in their right mind expects any school system, public or private, to rear the community’s children. An educational system’s priorities are to educate the students under their jurisdiction with a desire to reinforce the principles the students were taught in their formative years.

This is where “the system” falls short. If children are not taught to respect their parents, their elders or even have respect for themselves, how do you expect the to have respect for anyone else? Our youth have no role models. They see athletes, entertainers and political figures getting praise and money while committing immoral and illegal acts, with no consequence to their “bad” behavior.

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I have seen single moms, working parents and stay-at-home moms teach their children manners and provide them with moral examples on the proper way to conduct themselves when they are alone or in public. They teach them how to pray, how to take pride in themselves and in their accomplishments and how to strive to better themselves. Economics and race were no factors in these accomplishments

If a child attends one of the local private schools, one should not assume that the child’s parents are affluent. Many of these parents “bite the bullet” and “cut corners” to send their children to an institution where they can get a better education in order to be qualified to enter a credited university; which hopefully will lead to gainful employment in another city, in another state. Don’t all parents want something better for their children?

A better education translates into possible college scholarships (which these children need, as very little money was saved to pay college tuition because it was used to send these children to private school). Private schools in Natchez have no racial barriers and many squeak by economically.

I don’t know the answers to Natchez’s educational woes. I do know that unless the violence is reduced or eliminated and until more emphasis is placed on discipline, until educational standards are raised not lowered and until less emphasis is placed on athletics and more emphasis placed on eliminating drugs on campus, Natchez’s educational demise will continue.

Gary Shaifer

Natchez resident