A retired TPS teacher speaks out!

Avie Dixon concludes her article , A Body Without a Head Is... in The Truth with a plea to the Toledo Board of Education:

To members of the Toledo Board of Education,
This is a new year. You are a new organization. You have been given the charge to make important decisions on behalf of the children of Toledo. Please, be the leadership you have been chosen for and deny this attempt to throw our children into the clutches of a headless experimental monster.

The article begins....

A Body Without a Head Is....

A body without a head is without direction.

A body without a head is out of control.

A body without a head is ultimately dead!

The GEM academy, no matter how cute the acronym, would be "a body without a

Read the rest of the article A Body Without a Head Is...

This is from a retired teacher who can now speak out with impunity.

No votes yet

I think this article is well spoken and from her heart..........kudos to Mrs. Dixon!

until after I see how Jack Ford responds, if he does.

At least the grammar is correct and the article is well written. I think the author is fitting me for a pair of rose colored glasses, right up until she makes a racist comment give Pickett a strong dedicated HEAD principal – preferably a Strong Black Male

I guess a Weak White Woman principal wouldn't work.

There isn't anything new about the GEM idea. The cold hard truth is that if the GEM idea were a good one and the method actually worked, it would be in use all over the State. It isn't. Case in point, does anyone see GEM in use in Ottawa Hills? Sylvania? How about Maumee Valley Country Day School?

Forget GEM. It's just another way to suck up tax dollars without producing quality education. If Toledo really wanted high quality education, the instructor's paycheque and future employment would depend on the results.

Mad Jack
Mad Jack's Shack

Jack – When I created this post, I was wondering how long it would take for someone to make a reference that would accuse Avie Dixon of being a racist or making a racist comment. You get the booby prize. But please don’t take my remarks too personally, I’ve been looking for a way to discuss this and you gave me the opportunity.

Many are quick to make this remark and frankly it comes far too often from people of all ethnicities without a real review of the facts and an understanding of the context of the comment.

Is it sexist to believe it important for young males to have a strong male role model that they can relate to and emulate? What about a successful woman in a career dominate by males so that young women can see themselves as something more than a housewife – someone that makes them believe they can be anything they strive to be.

I have no idea whether Ms. Dixon is racist. I just don’t go there, but sometimes individuals leave you little choice by their continued actions and dialogue. I have never called anyone a racist in any post and will stay away from throwing labels about. IMO, it just isn’t productive to throw such labels into discussion. It has a tendency to stop debate and stop understanding!

I believe it is perfectly acceptable for an African American in our culture to want strong African American role models that young African Americans can emulate. I can’t believe that it would ever hurt and in that context it is far from racist. Dixon did not imply in her article that a “white woman” could not be principal in a school where the enrollment is predominately Black. I’m quite sure that Dixon is not looking for a “weak” anything. And why Jack did you make such a contrast?

We all need to quit throwing the race card into discussions every time a remark could be misconstrued. Perhaps we should start by examining why a comment such as “In the meantime, give Pickett a strong dedicated HEAD principal – preferably a Strong Black Male…” was made in the first place. Could it possibly mean that young Black males who are in a demographic group that has a high possibility of early death by murder, has an obscenely high rate of incarceration, etc. need to have someone that looks like them be a role model that can intervene and give them just a little better chance of growing up and beating the odds.

So putting the comment into the context of having successful role models that children can relate to and emulate seems a perfectly acceptable opinion that considers the racial and cultural reality in our society.

Boy those “rose colored” glasses sure make the world seem a better place to live.

For your reasons, Dixon's reasons and some of my own that I did not share, I agree about the GEM academy concept.

I don't take it personally. Here's my point: By evidence of her writing, the author is obviously literate and therefore well-read. If she is a retired school teacher, she has a college degree. Her phrase, Strong Black Male was capitalized for emphasis (she does not misuse or over-use capitalization elsewhere), and that is an egregious racist statement. I, being a white male, could not recommend someone like me for any position anywhere, nor could I suggest a white woman for the same reason; The PC police would be all over me like white on rice, and you know it.

Some years back the Toledo Chief of Police issued an order to stop and shake down any group of three or more black teenagers seen loitering or strolling around the Old West End. There had been a rash of break ins and general vandalism, you see. Naturally the PC pellets hit the fan, but by the time the "You Can't Say That" group got a bleeding heart judge to agree with their hair brained opinion, the thieves had all been arrested and thrown into jail and the standing order rescinded. The problem that the residents and police were having to deal with involved groups of black teens. Not white, not brown, not even green. But just go ahead and say so, and watch the black community go through the ceiling.

I'm just really sick and tired of double standard censorship. As it happens, I agree with the author that, if the vast majority of students are black males, then by all means hire a Strong Black Male principal. It's a good idea, but it leads to the question of what will be done in schools that have a predominately white population, and how, exactly, will you state your preferred choice there?

Mad Jack
Mad Jack's Shack

Jack - I see your points - thanks for the explanation. No doubt that better race relations have to include all parties.

The article is well thought out and well spoken, but I have to admit that the comment she makes about the "strong black male" principal does smack of racism as well as sexism but perhaps that last can be attributed to the writers age since she is retired and perhaps still of that generation that sees a harder line between male and female stereotypes.
Don't get me wrong, I get the idea that black males need good black male role models, but if I were to advocate for a "strong white male" as principal of my sons school, because hey he's from a single parent home too as are more then a few kids in the school I'm guessing and so without a strong male role model, well then we all know I'd be called a racist.
The kids (all kids male or female) are better served by strong, positive role models of either sex regardless of their color.
For the record I love our principal, he's a breath of fresh air after the jerk that was there when my daughter attended. He's a strong, positive male role model not to mention he's quite the hottie.
He can call me to the office anytime *grin*

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