Toledo’s children

I always look for confirmation when exposing people or situations. To expound on the topic “Toledo’s Children,” I have been battling with myself as to whether or not I should release this topic with my opinions however harsh they may be. My confirmation came from two sources, one an individual who heads one of the organizations and one I have been debating on whether or not I am being too harsh, the second came from a full page ad taken out in the Toledo Blade by the Toledo Blade titled “We the people.” That ad stated in it’s entirety, “Eight out of ten people read The Blade. Like our forefathers, they know journalism is democracy’s watchdog. We do not shirk that duty. When a bureaucrat withholds public document; when a public servant engages in improper behavior; when a government entity hides illegal activities-we call them to task. The day democracy can exist without corruption, democracy can exist without The Blade.”

The individual stated, to an audience in which I was a part of “ to keep it real.” Well, I have taken that advice and done just that. The second source, the Blade, has shirked it’s duty to the children of Toledo in allowing the government entity, the Toledo Public School System to hide what I feel is criminal behavior in the way it treats a vast majority of it’s students, the black, the brown, the poor and it's disabled.

I am always baffled as to why some things happen, why some things are acceptable and why people do some of the things that they do or don't do some of the things that they should do. Because children are the future of any society, it is very baffling, troubling and disturbing when I hear of a child in danger and there is no immediate response from an adult to that danger. But when I hear and see an entire city’s children in danger and crisis and the very people sworn to protect them either turn their head, present a blind eye or out right, reap scorn and condemnation on them, I am outraged. It is my belief that you are responsible for your words, and actions. When you stray away from what should be your mission you should be called out. Some things should not be allowed to continue unchecked and unabated. Destroying the future of the children of Toledo is criminally and morally wrong. The Talmud, the Bible and the Holy Koran honors it’s children with stories, parables, songs and allegories. When the Bible states, “Suffer the little children,” I don’t think that means that the children should suffer.

Children are the thread in a blanket, the egg in a cake, the RAM in a computer, the coral reefs in the ocean, the heart of a school, the honey in the honeycomb and the life of the community. Why would a person, newspapers, organizations, leaders, and many government agencies defile the heart of the community.? The essence of a nation is built upon the strength and heartiness of it’s children. If the children are weak and febrile the nation will eventually die.

The children in Toledo are suffering, helpless and powerless against insurmountable odds, housed in schools of no return and no one with any power to effect a change really cares. Where is the Urban League? Have you not seen enough to come out and make a public statement against these wrongs?

Every child in a Toledo Public School should have been able to witness history September 8, 2009 when the first black president addressed the nation’s children with a message of empowerment. The GTUL came out with a statement thanking the superintendent of the Toledo Public School System for allowing students access to the broadcast when in fact few schools had 100% participation and most had none, due to the fact that the superintendent, John Foley gave power over to the teachers as to whether or not the students were given access. Glenwood Elementary a school with 99% black students and 94.7% of them living in poverty only had five teachers, out of 20, allow the students access to the presidential address. Even when teachers were given notes from parents giving permission, permission was denied. Even when parents called their child’s school giving permission, permission was denied.

Glenwood is a new school that has all of the amenities of a new school. Before the school opened, in August, 2008, a new small basketball court occupied the grounds along with a playground, set of swings, etc. Before school started for the 2008 school year, John Foley had the basketball nets taken down and eventually removed the entire court. This was done, according to his own words to me, because the wrong element was using the basketball nets. So he had them taken down depriving the neighborhood access to a safe, year round leisure time activity for the neighborhood’s children. How cruel! And Why? Because the wrong element was using the small basketball court? Who is the wrong element in a neighborhood? The parents of the children attending the school? Wouldn’t the very act of playing basketball keep the wrong element occupied from wrongdoing?

When will the GTUL step out and step up for it’s future enrollees?

Where was and is the NAACP when Trevor Casey was brutalized by two policemen sworn to protect and serve and the policemen later found innocent of any wrong doing? What will it take for you to become vocal? A dead child? Children are dying every day in the Toledo Public School System as witnessed by the president Ms. WilliAnn Moore when she was a teacher at Scott High School. How do you sell out the children, the life’s blood of a community? I smell the stink of burning blood money. It’s always about the money. Anytime something atrocious happens if you look closely it usually is about money.

When will Ms. WilliAnn Moore /NAACP step up and give a directive that a Task Force needs to be created that calls for an audit of the TPD’s brutality on school children, and TPS’s brutal treatment of it’s black students? Isn’t that why the NAACP was created 100 years ago to ensure a society where all citizens have equal rights? It is rumored that the Toledo NAACP’s membership has been bought and paid for by the Toledo Federation of Teachers and it's president Ms. Francine Lawrence..

Toledo’s politically powerful create Task Forces for every issue except for the suffering of children. A Task Force was set up for the Toledo Zoo and the zoo’s animals when the zoo’s animals were in crisis because the zoo’s veterinarian was fired. County Commissioners requested that a task Force be created to delve into the finances and business of the YMCA .Where is the Task Force for Toledo’s children in failing schools and occupying juvenile cells in the cradle to the prison pipeline in Toledo, Ohio?

Shouldn’t newspapers be at the forefront of addressing these issues?

“”The great newspapers, which should plead the cause of the oppressed and the down-trodden, which should be the palladiums of the people’s rights, are all on the side of the oppressor, or by silence preserve a dignified but ignominious neutrality. Day after day they weave a false picture of facts--facts which must measurably influence the future historian of the times in the composition of impartial history.””--Black and White: Land, labor and politics in the South (1884)

Where is the Toledo Blade? Why is the Toledo Blade “One of America’s Great Newspaper” not pleading the case of the oppressed and downtrodden? I have been threatened by a Blade newspaper person because I exercised my right to bring what I thought was a case of “Democracy” gone wild to the attention of the editors. This reporting by me was the result of an attack by the Blade on the one Toledo Public School Board’s member, Darlene Fisher, who is on the side of the oppressed children in crisis in the Toledo Public School District. I was accused of being Ms. Fisher's mouthpiece. Any one who knows Ms. Fisher knows that she does not need a mouth piece as she is her own person and advocates for a quality education for all children. She not only talks the talk but she also walks the walk. Investigate this $420 million dollar system (TPS) like you investigated, Tom Noe, the YMCA and other topics that have nothing to do with the children and the future workforce of Toledo.

The Toledo Journal, a bastion of authority for the rights of the oppressed deserves a Pulitzer for it’s investigating and reporting on the issues that affect the black community such as the lack of minority contracting during the various phases of the Building for Success Program, the lack of Black teachers in the TPS school system and issues regarding the brutality inflicted on children by the police department.

However the Journal got it completely wrong when it endorsed Steven Steel for City Council. While it is a blessing that the Board of Education is rid of bad rubbish, why inflict Mr. Steel on an unsuspecting city? Mr. Steel was reprimanded as a teacher for some shenanigans and lost his teaching license, resulting from a disorderly conduct charge involving public drunkenness and some other tomfoolery involving a student or students that is whispered about in the community. If you know what you know (the Journal) why did you give a pass to Mr. Steel? Has anyone ever investigated rumors as to why he lost his teaching license at TPS and eventually become a butterfly catcher?

Fletcher Word editor and chief of the Sojourner’s, Truth, who at one time compared me to Idi Amin commits such an injustice to “oppressed people” and uses the Sojourners Truth to commit perjury. In the Sept 14th issue of the “Truth”, at the end of an editorial, whose purpose was to endorse candidates for the upcoming election, he wrote as a part of an editorial,(caustically) that “This is, after all, a city that will be
using an additional $14 million in public funds to remodel a high school that serves
900 students in a good year. Note we said “additional.” The cost to build a new school
would be around $25 million but this community will be spending $39 million on the project………” The truth of the matter is that had it not been for AAPA, Ben Williams, Scott Alumni, Warren Woodberry, SOS and careful and concise reporting from the Toledo Journal, the story would not have gotten out and Scott High School would not only not have a promise of renovation but would have been shuttered. Why do you think that Scott only has 900 students? A systematic destruction of the educational program that once produced a Warren Woodberry and a Stranahan, a systematic destruction of the band that traveled nationwide and won national awards and the systematic destruction of all of the athletic programs, programs that produced a Nate Washington, a Willie McClure and a Brenda Morehead, that is why there are only 900 students at Scott. To be real truthful about it, Scott actually ceased to exist as a school in 2007. There are now two small schools that make up the name. Scott High School only exists in the minds of the people.

There is one bright spot shown, through an act of courage from Lucas County Juvenile Court Judge Connie Zemmelman when she refused the community’s call for blood in the treatment of Dai’Lahntae Jemison, the 15 year old who was responsible for the death of my friend, Robert Brundage. Robert, a community activist, a man who was revered in death more so then when he was alive as was seen in a duplicitous display by Steve Steel, president of the Board of Education at the time. Mr. Steel would not even speak to Mr. Brundage yet the day after Mr. Brundage was attacked Mr. Steel, while presiding over a school board meeting began the meeting with a moment of silence for Mr. Brundage. I personally was offended by this action because I knew how Mr. Steel treated Mr. Brundage and this is the person that the Journal endorsed for city council. I smell a rat!

If given the opportunity to speak at the hearing before Judge Zemmelman, I am pretty sure Mr. Brundage would have concurred with the Judge’s opinion and would have wanted this youth to stay in the prevue of the juvenile system. Judge Zemmelman’s career was threatened in a Toledo Blade editorial with the words, “Judge Zemmelman failed to send a message, a fact that will be remembered by voters in future elections.” Judge Zemmelman’s duty was not to send a message but to apply the law, which she did. She stood for a child, a fact that will not be forgotten in future elections, by those who value children..

Where are you leaders from the Hispanic community? Why are you not outraged about the atrocities committed against Hispanic children in the TPS school system? They are well documented, just look at the drop out data, the suspension/expulsion data and the lack of Hispanic teachers employed by the district. The Hispanic board member Mr. Robert Vasquez would be horrified if he came into his true self and ever bothered to look at the data and analyzed what is happening with Hispanic children. TPS children, Hispanic or otherwise are not his concern, his concern as a board member is to get along with the Toledo Federation of Teachers. Nothing more nothing less. How do you throw away the sweetest part of your community, your beautiful brown children? Why isn’t the Hispanic community in an uproar about the conditions of the children and the lack of leadership by the only Hispanic board member? I read an article recently written in LaPrensa about Robert Vasquez by Kevin Milliken that was an application for sainthood. It was very misleading and harmful to Hispanic children. Mr. Milliken, did you see two faces of Robert Vasquez? The face that wants to assimilate and dismisses Hispanic children’s horrific statistics and the face of the speaker for his people’s children. I have only seen the one face.

Black Preachers, where are you in the fight for the lives of the children. Reverend John Roberts, Reverend Robert Culp, Reverend Cedric Brock and others? Where are your voices? Have they been silenced by the will of your congregants or by the smell of the root of all evil? What is your preemptive response to the needs of your communities children? Why are you sitting idly by while the public school system is not only failing your congregant’s children but destroying their lives and condemning them to the streets at earlier and earlier ages? Then they (TPS) come to your churches during “silly season” and you welcome them with open arms while your children are slipping into wider and wider cracks in the systems created by these very same people. How many of your congregants were able to access any money from the Building for Success program that you pushed them to vote for at the request of powerful people in high places? How many of your congregants teach or hold administrative positions? Your congregant’s children make up the majority of the students! So a piece of the money pie should be being consumed by the people sitting in your pews on Sunday morning.

Don’t you have mothers crying out to you for assistance when their children are in danger of failing, in danger of dropping out and in danger of losing their spirit? How do you, standing in the pulpits of your churches, which sit on every corner of every street in the inner city have absolutely nothing to say about a system that is systematically destroying your congregants children? When will you break free from whatever source that binds you and cry out, “let my people’s children go?’

The people doing the heavy lifting, Atty. Lafayette Tolliver, Duane Morehead, Charles Brown, Ben Williams, Johnnye Warnesley, Charles Muhammad, Darlene Fisher, Steve Flagg, Rahwae Shuman, Dr. Frances Dumbaya, Contractor Lee Williams, Dr. Earl Murry, Warren Woodberry, Tyrone Sturdevant, Chris Myers, Zahra Collins don’t have young children in the public school system, yet they continue to fight, speak up and out for Toledo’s children at great expense to themselves; monetarily, time wise, energy, with health concerns, loss of friends, income and in more ways than you can imagine.

Jack Ford deserves an award for his behavior towards Toledo’s children. Just not sure what the award should be. First I must give him credit for bringing the issues forward such as the discipline issues but then in the heat of the moment he is noticeably missing and then ducking out when it is crunch time, the inveterate politician. I know Mr. Ford is a beloved and much loved husband and father. I know this as I watch Coffee with the Fords and have seen the family interacting, out and about. This love must be extended to the wider community and this community’s children or the service is for naught. Far be it from me to tell anyone how to live their life but, “when the children are safe everyone is safe.”

Also notably missing from the fight for the lives of our children is the Mayor of the City of Toledo, Carleton Finkbeiner, the Board of Community Relations’ Juanita Greene, Donie Miller of Bridges and others who know who they are.

We, fighters for children, are not looking for a job, a contract, nor do we have an “agenda,” we simply want a quality education and justice for all children, especially the disenfranchised. Having said this, my question would be: “Why don’t you?”

Written and submitted by

Twila Page
9/2009

Your rating: None Average: 3 (2 votes)

I note that not once did you call for parental responsibility. Where are the parents, grandparents, extended family, next door neighbor? Not once did you call for any personal responsibility. You and all of the persons you name cannot effect any change, ever, if the parents aren't involved, care enough, and reponsible citizens of this community.
Just my two cents. Keep up the fight, but your after the wrong people. It must begin at home.

BPHTOL

plenty wrong with TPS without even mentioning parental responsibility.

Parents of students are not our employees. The teachers and administrators in the TPS are our employees. We're just exercising our rights as employers to control the erring natures of our employees.

I am missing your point. Toledo does not value it's children, it's an issue of social justice not parental responsibility.

"Social justice"="a piece of the money pie."

Said so yourself...just didnt mean to...

Toledo is a THING...it HAS no children...it is an artificial construct....a governing body run by people supported by political special intrests ,who will in the long run Inevitably work in their own self intrest...which is to STAY in power.....it will not save you..it cannot....it can only tax you...or give you the money taken from others...

When will you realise that when you point a finger at someone three are pointing back at you?

My kids all go to TPS....they get a's and b's... same curriculum....same system....same crop of teachers...run by the same school board...with the same cops in school...

how can this be?

Are their lucky charms just a little bit more magically delicious?

“Political correctness is a doctrine, fostered by a delusional, illogical minority, and rabidly promoted by an unscrupulous mainstream media, which holds forth the proposition that it is entirely possible to pick up a turd by the clean end.”

good schools in TPS but if you don't fix the rot it will eventually get them too.

the social justice, I am referring to has absolutely nothing to do with money or more taxes. It has to do with a change in attitude/climate in which children (all children) are viewed/treated in Toledo, Ohio in the 21st century.

Glad your children are doing so well.

Purnhrt, do you consider yourself a Democrat? a liberal?
Do you support Democrats/liberals who run for office?

If so, I find it ironic that on the one hand you complain that Toledo doesn't value it's children, and on the other hand support people who believe it's ok to murder children who are unborn. Put any label on abortion you want, we all know what it really is, some just aren't honest enough to admit it.

The president that you adore so much, while in the senate voted against a bill that would make it illegal to take a child who had survived a late term abortion attempt and simply place it in a room until it died.
A lot of pro abortion people use the ridiculous argument that the aborted child isn't a human being. If that was true, and we know it isn't, then what is the survivor of a failed late term abortion called?
What would we say if a woman gave birth to a child, took it home from the hospital and put it in a room and left it to die?
Now tell me what's the difference between that and what 0bama supports?

"We're all riding on the Hindenburg, no sense fighting over the window seats"-Richard Jenni

an independent who thinks for herself and supports the person who most supports issues that I believe in and I am against abortion but I am also human and realize that others think and do what is best for them and their families when it comes to abortion.
And Toledo does not value it's children, born or unborn.

WOW

Very interesting. I am not sure of what you actually do? Is it anything? I mean anything that would be considered actually doing something to support the ideals you espouse? I specifically don't mean just writing blogs and being at meetings. Do you contribute any actual physical labor, effort, work (not a bad word - just 4 letters), hold office, ran for office, etc. - actually what do you do? I seems that there are a great many things/people you don't agree with, so what constructive actions are you taking? Or, are you just shooting at anyone who is actually trying something? Of course, that's easier than actually doing something.

you know nothing about purnhrt and what she does for this city (Black, Hispanic, White, etc.). She is a great servant, and labors much for this city's most vulnerable members.

Until the lion writes his own story, the tale of the hunt will always glorify the hunter (African proverb)

Maybe Obama should give her his nobel prize...

“Political correctness is a doctrine, fostered by a delusional, illogical minority, and rabidly promoted by an unscrupulous mainstream media, which holds forth the proposition that it is entirely possible to pick up a turd by the clean end.”

Phoenix. Actually I have followed this closely and do know quite a bit about the topic, obviously a little more than you? You seem to confuse rhetoric with constructive action.

in all of this? Sorry but a village can't raise s h * t without involved and dedicated parents. This topic comes up over and over again.

Punhurt mentions the kid that murdered Bob Brundage. The neighbors said Dailahntae and his siblings did not have guidance from parents and were often in the streets at night. The house had nearly 2 dozen 911 calls made from or about it in 2 years. One neighbor said, "Right now, she has a boyfriend, and she's kind of with him all the time. Those kids would be better off in foster care."

Twanda Harris, the woman who was charged with the care of Dailahntae Jemison straight up said this, "...I don't need to baby-sit."

It's the lack of parental involvement and supervision that is in your words, "condemning them to the streets at earlier and earlier ages". If you don't raise your kids, don't expect the community to do it for you.

I would like to see you spend as much energy in penning a diatribe targeting the SOURCE of this issue. Home.

your title should be revised to "Toledo's brown children" because that's about all you care about. Clearly.

TPS will benefit all children in good schools and bad, so it is not really about race.

to establish a baseline for where we should be as a community when it comes to all children. I did/do not intend to defend what I have written. For those who have responded, all I can say is that until the children are safe none of us is safe. Children are not the slugs on the sidewalk of society and as a community we should all be ashamed for allowing the type of behavior used against children to continue.
For those who have responded in a positive manner by letter, email, Facebook, telephone and Swamp Bubbles, by either offering to stand for children or to offer encouragement in my fight fot Toledo's children, I thank you.

" I did/do not intend to defend what I have written."

Ofcorse not...because you cant...just throw crap and see what sticks...

Need a piece of that money pie!

“Political correctness is a doctrine, fostered by a delusional, illogical minority, and rabidly promoted by an unscrupulous mainstream media, which holds forth the proposition that it is entirely possible to pick up a turd by the clean end.”

Thank you Twila for all that you do in the interests of children in this city. It takes a strong person to speak "truth to power in this city". If they can't buy you off with some trinkets, tickets to some function that they put on to congratulate themselves, or some meaningless appt.to some board where you are expected to be a yes person for 'their' agenda, Then they label you as crazy and irelevent.
First of all anything that you do for the least of these makes it better for all children in the public schools.
I was born and raised in Toledo, graduated from Scott High School i n 1961, was ranked 119 in class of 267.
I wasn't the best in my class but I was far from being the worst. I had a mother and father in the home and I was self-directed. We lived in the Libbey High School district but I got an out-of-district transfer so that I could go to Scott because they were so predjudiced at Libbey that none of the black students were invited to
join the fraternities and sororities. They let me join the choir. When I graduated from Scott, My major was Business Admin. they got all of the white girls jobs at Owens Illinois and other big business's and was told that the only thing that they could get for me, a black girl was a job working for a Black doctor who was new in town for $25 a week. I moved to Calif. by the end of June 1961. Toledo Public schools in the inner city have gone down even more since then, because of the lack of education of the parents and grandparents of our children. they have no HOPE and no PLANS FOR THE FUTURE. HOW CAN WE AS A COMMUNITY ADDRESS THAT!!!!???? Toledo public schools are biased against the children that come from this environment and they don't want you and your "cast' drawing attention to it. keep Hope Alive. Thank You

thank you for seeing behind the screen that Toledo displays to keep children from reaching their full potential.

for Toledo's children, not fight fot Toledo's children.

purnhrt is right on . Everyone must wake up and we all need to demand TPS is fixed. The Blade never demands TPS become better and politicians run and always want to say they want to spread the positive messages because that message never gets out-hmm I wonder why. Well the facts are TPS will continue to wither until we as a community say enough is enough. But I don't see that day yet.

Yes, we the consumers must demand better of our school system or vote with our feet or money for something that will respond to our demands. However I couldn't care less what the Blade or our politicians have to say. The Blade (should) "reports....You decide." Politicians.......self interested and self serving, if TPS's customers aren't demanding better, they won't either. The real issue is parents, they have the power to change all of this but many chose to assume/prefer someone else is responsible. Parents are the bottom line, No parenting, no responsibility, no hope.

BPHTOL

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