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Does anyone remember Aug. 26, 2015? Does
anyone remember that Officer Randall Kerrick of
the Charlotte Mecklenburg Police Department
fatally shot Jonathan Ferrell on Sept. 14, 2013?
Does anyone remember that on Aug. 26, 2015,
Attorney General Roy Cooper's office decided not
to retry Kerrick after his voluntary manslaughter
trial ended in a mistrial?
We have new names instead of Kerrick and
Ferrell to use now. Another black man has been
shot dead in Charlotte. The black man is now
Keith Lamont Scott and the police officer who
killed him is Police Officer Brentley Vinson.
Scott was fatally shot on Tuesday, Sept. 20,
2016, as he waited for his son to arrive from school
"Back in 2015, the
names Ferrell and
Kerrick were the
names that made the
blood of people in
on the school bus.
Back in 2015, the names Ferrell and Kerrick
were the names that made the blood of people in
Charlotte boil. They protested on Aug. 21, 2015,
, | | , too, when the mistrial was
announced. -They confronted
police, too. In a little over a
year later, people in Charlotte
are letting it be known that the
police have not learned from
Jonathan Ferrell's death.
Police still shoot first and
1 maybe ask questions later.
We are hearinc it aeain.
"No justice, no peace."
Cooper is running for governor on a record that
includes allowing injustice to rule in the lives of
black men wrongly accused (Kalvin Michael
Smith) and in the lives of families of black men
wrongly shot dead. Is he waiting to become gover
nor to right the wrongs in those
Police said Ferrell charged
at them, that's why they killed
Police said Scott had a gun
and looked threatening with it
in his hand. That's why he had
Others refute those claims
an article in The Charlotte
Observer dated Aug. 21, 2015, Ferrell's mother,
Georgia Ferrcll of Tallahassee, Fla. said: "We've
got to stop them from killing our children."
The other issue is, we've got to get justice for
our dead brothers or we'll keep hearing it: "No jus
tice, no peace."
LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
Let's work on
getting help to
students in schools
with poor grades
To the Editor:
According to the report in the
Winston-Salem Journal on Sept. 2
and 4,2016, an inordinate number of
K-12 students in the Winston
Salem/Forsyth County Schools dis
trict are attending low or "D" or "F'
I am highly alarmed and dis
tressed that 33 of the 72 schools in
this district received a "D" or "F."
Are we using available resources
necessary for the teaching-learning
process? The numbers above are
Unfortunately, when schools fail,
students fail, families fail, neighbor
hoods fail and eventually all of soci
ety fails. All of us should be com
pletely outraged because in society
there should be no room for massive
failures. Weak leadership combined
with other causes is a major cause of
Some of the problems that I see in
the WS/FCS system are a severe
shortage of black male role models,
low expectations and a lack of per
sonnel and resources to meet the
needs of the students.
Many students in the failing
schools have been negatively
labeled. This labeling has prevented
them from reaching their ftill poten
tial because they are being taught by
teachers whose expectation from
them is extremely low.
Let's bring in some people who
know how to teach these children,
who know how to discipline them,
who are not afraid of them, who can
communicate with the parents, and
who can motivate them so that they
will want to learn.
School research tells us that when
a large number of schools are labeled
low performing or when students are
not learning, "there are cracks in the
foundation, and these cracks must be
repaired before excellence can take
Another factor which this system
has apparently overlooked can be
found in educational research which
discusses the composition of students
in schools. Research also tells us that
"the social composition of students -
or the social mix - has a big influence
on student achievement. Children
from families with low or average
socioeconomic status (SES) tend to
have better educational outcomes if
they attend a school whose students
come from families with high aver
"But if these students attend a
school where the SES mix is predom
inantly low, they are unlikely to make
as much progress.
"In short, the social composition
and the context of the school make
significant differences to students '
subsequent performance, over and
above the effects associated with the
child's individual family."
We definitely have a problem
with 33 of the schools as a result of
poor performance by someone. So,
how do we fix the problem? 1 pro
pose that we convene an educational
forum consisting of parents, students,
teachers, staff and administrators to
discuss the issues at the 33 schools
and come up with some realistic
solutions for dealing with the issues.
Dr. Virginia K. Newell
Black led schools
of choice invite
Matter, others to
To the Editor:
The Black Led Schools of Choice
(BLSC), an organization based in
North Carolina, is a collective of
African-American education and
community leaders that is pressing
for the rights of communities of color
to enjoy a fairer share of opportuni
ties and resources in education.
If you have not heard of them,
you're not alone. Many in our com
munities are not aware of this power
house of educational expertise, right
in our own state's backyard. With
over 100 years of combined experi
ence establishing and leading thriv
ing schools largely serving children
of color, the BLSC is organized to
level the playing field for black
schools of choice - advocating for
them and providing technical assis
tance. With such a specific focus on
the educational wellbeing of black
families, it made perfect sense for the
BLSC to work with Black Lives
Matter and other Movement for
Black Lives allies.
Uniting black voices for children,
the Black Led Schools of Choice has
invited members of the Movement
for Black Lives and its allies to visit
the black led schools and talk with
parents, staff, and students.
The BLSC believe much of the
misinformation and myths about
public charter schools can be
revealed and erased with the best
way to know - see for one's self.
BLSC is convinced that, when the
representatives of Black Lives Matter
and other such organizations see for
themselves what many charter
schools are all about, the initial
stance of allied organizations for
black lives of a moratorium on char
ter school growth will surely be
Member charter schools like
Quality Education Academy (QEA)
await such guests with great anticipa
tion, excited to reveal how most often
their black, and Latino, students out
perform their "black and brpwn"
counterparts within traditional public
Black Led Schools of Choice
member schools boast higher black
student graduation rates than most
TPS. Charter schools are helping to
meet the overwhelming need for
choice for many black families who
perceive that their black child is not
being challenged properly, not being
taught in a way that meets their learn
ing style, and not being taught by
teachers that truly understand and
respect their family's culture.
The QEA student social jus
tice organization T.R.U.T.H.
Movement, established in 2014 in
response to the community issues of
mass incarceration of African
Americans and police brutality, high
lights the unique need for schools
serving black families and how char
ter schools are perfectly designed to
empower communities of color. The
recent invitation to Black Lives
Matter and allied groups to tour
schools like QEA is a pivotal oppor
tunity for both entities to begin a
deeper coalition for black families.
Chief Development Officer
Quality Education Academy
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Ernest H. Pitt \cbrj/.
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