The school morning begins with Pledge of Allegiance, moment of meditation, and then the students see their principal making the announcements. He was sitting in front of a camera in the library. He announced that Friday is the school carnival, lots of fun all day. But, he informed them, not everyone will be participating. Only those who have earned that privilege. He said, “Yesterday the progress reports went home. If you have a deficiency marked on your report, you will be spending Friday with me. We have some work to do. We’ll have a nice day together, but you will not be at the carnival. If you have a deficiency on your report, tell your parents I will be around next week to visit at your home. We - your parents, you, and I, will talk about the deficiency and how we can all work together so this doesn’t happen again.”
He has regular “mentoring” sessions when students have things they need to talk about. I was told the students are comfortable with him and in some cases he’s their only responsible adult to talk to. They end their session when he says, “Stand up. Stand tall. What are the 3rs of an educated person?” Then the kids recite, “Respect myself, respect others, respect school.” “YOU!” he says, “Are a great American.” The picture above is their school mantra, The Roar.
The students I visited this week were some of the most respectful I’ve seen in quite a while, and the schools are probably the poorest I’ve been privileged to visit. I was impressed with nice manners, respectful, cooperative and helpful behavior, appropriately attired. They asked insightful, thoughtful questions. Nearly all in every class said they liked to read! This has nothing to do with economics, politics, or race. It has everything to do with being a respectful American, and a respectable citizen. These scholars and their teachers are all great Americans.