“I feel gooder, I can’t go home, because my dad says that I need to be at school to learn and I can’t learn if I miss a day of school.” A child said to me today after I was informed that she had just thrown up.
Remember when we were children? When we got that little bubble of gas in our tummies and we rushed to the nurse or asked to go to the office in hopes that our parents would pick us up so we could go home and watch cartoons…
Or when we were older, and could drive… And would take advantage of our privileges and be out if we weren’t feeling it? That feeling that you get when you are sitting at a desk at school.
So when a 3rd grader, who has every reason to go home, pleads with me to stay because the importance of education has been drilled into her, I realized how much we take our opportunities for granted.
Originally from Guatamala, this child’s parents arrived in the US in hopes of a better life. Much like MS, Guatamala has a high poverty rate. In Guatamala children as young as third grade choose work over school, because let’s face it, it’s not a choice, it’s a necessity.
Also, like the state of, MS The current state of education in Guatemala is significantly under-funded. Many classrooms nationwide, especially in rural Guatemala, do not meet minimum standards for many classroom space, teaching materials, classroom equipment and furniture, and water/sanitation.
Mississippi is not alone in these similarities. Our nation as a whole is substantially behind in education. In a nation where it’s against the law to not attend school, we have less graduation rates, high crime, high poverty, and less of the rising generation prepared to adequately participate in the workforce.
So, on the news when I listen to the discussion of building a beautiful wall to keep others out, I think about what that will look like if it came to that.
We have people who are desperate to reach US soil, not to harm us, but to get crumbs of the pie that we, in retrospect have opportunities to receive the whole pie.
So let’s take a moment and look at our education system, look at all who comprises it, look at the blessings we have as a country.
We need to decide what we are going to be;rather we are sitting at the desk, or standing in front of it.
Will you get sick and stay home? Will you call in? Or will you see it through to the end, because you know that at the end of the lesson, there is a greater possibility that you can have more than the crumbs of the pie.