Nathan Stephens had heard just enough of generalizations about black parents - talk that they don’t care about their kids and claims that they don’t attend school functions.
It was time to form the Black Parents Association of Columbia Public Schools to empower and inform black parents, Stephens said. An organization that has been talked about for decades is finally having its first meeting at 7 p.m. tomorrow at St. Luke’s United Methodist Church.
"What really brought it to a head on a personal level was when I felt like black parents had been attacked in the local media," said Stephens, who has children at Parkade Elementary School and Hickman High School. "That’s the term I use - ‘attacked.’ "
Stephens said he was referring to recent news stories and online forums in which school officials and others talked about black parents not being sufficiently involved in the lives of their children. He said black parents are active, but their participation just might be not visible.
Other parents ask Stephens questions in church or at the store, he said, and he knows black parents care about their children’s education. "How dare someone say black parents aren’t involved," he said.
Among its goals, the new group will work with black parents, answering any questions or just support them in general. The association also wants to increase the visible participation of black parents, which could include having some parents fill in for others who might be working during back-to-school functions or parent-teacher conferences, Stephens said.
More at the link.