02/15/07 — It begins at home: Board’s vice chairman is right; we need to start there first

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It begins at home: Board’s vice chairman is right; we need to start there first

Wayne County Board of Education Vice Chairwoman Thelma Smith does not mince words.

And when she talks about what our children need, it is not just dollar amounts and building plans that come to mind first.

She knows they need their families, good values, a work ethic and a thirst for knowledge if they are going to make it in the world.

So, while as a member of the board of education she will continue to fight for the resources and personnel she needs to help make the best school system possible, she never forgets that all the hard work of many people can be undone in a few minutes at home.

Mrs. Smith spent some time this week talking about how far we have come in providing equitable education for all races in this community. But she also made sure to mention that there is much more work to do — and that it should begin at home.

No matter which race you choose, or the socioeconomic level of the family, to raise children with successful futures ahead of them requires more than simply putting them in a classroom five days a week. The values they learn from their parents are a critical component to their futures.

So while we can praise the efforts that have been made to this point, and make plans for better buildings and resources in the future, the success or failure of our schools begins around the kitchen tables in Wayne County.

Mrs. Smith doesn’t want to see any more wasted lives and lost potential — and she is brave enough to say that there are many contributors to those failures.

And she is challenging all of us to face the problem and to look for real solutions.

That way, in another 50 years, some other board member will not be making the same lament.

Published in Editorials on February 15, 2007 11:50 AM