What If? - And Response (4)

Saturday, June 19, 2021

What if, those 2,500 plus folks who signed the petition against Planned Parenthood coming into our public schools would mentor just one child? What if, those hundreds of folks who showed up at last month’s school board meeting to demand removal of mask would mentor just one child? What if, the dozens of folks that I get emails and letters from each week opposing critical race theory being taught in our public schools would identify a hurt and lost child to mentor? These are compelling questions.

What if as much passion were displayed by those of us who are passionate about these moral and political issues, would have birthed in us a passion to encourage, support, hold accountable, and a kick in the hiney when needed? This need be a passion that expects absolutely nothing in return, a passion just to Love on Folks. What if that happened? Oh my goodness, we would probably not even be having these conversations of the things mentioned here.

I am but one of nine school board members and possess only one voice, one opinion, and one vote and I certainly cannot speak for the other eight.  However, what I can assert, this board member wanted masks off long before they finally disappeared. I do not wish to see critical race theory taught in our public schools, and I absolutely have no desire to see Planned Parenthood teaching my children, now grandchildren, anything about sexual health. That is my job. I am the parent. That has been my job for the two biological children and 19 foster children that Ms. America and I have raised. Those conversations took place at our dining room table or in the car driving to ball practice or hikes in the woods.

At school board meetings, I like it best when we talk about math, science, literacy and the things we need to do to get better as a school district to give all our kids the best chance in life moving forward. I like it when we talk about the fact that even during a pandemic we were able to keep our kids in the classroom here in Hamilton County over 80 percent of the time this past school year. No district in our entire state even came close to that.  

So as I ask what if questions, I need to ask What I questions? What am I personally doing outside my own children to help make someone’s life a little better? What am I doing outside my own children to help a hurting child learn how to read just a little better or make good life choices? What am I doing to somehow improve the quality of life for a child or a family that just needs someone to love on them? Every day as a school board member, I will keep listening and talking about these very important complex issues that is required and expected of a board member and Every day I am at the same time going to keep finding someone to mentor and love on. So I encourage you to simply ask yourself. What am I doing? Let’s go find somebody to love on.

Joe Smith

School Board District 3

* * *

Thank you my friend Joe Smith for this reminder.  At times I need a little “spiritual spanking”.  You are exactly right, for me to complain about things costs me nothing.

For me to sign a petition agreeing with keeping Planned Parenthood away from our schools costs me nothing.

Mentoring a child is gonna cost me a little something. A cost that if I really care then I am willing to pay.

Thank you for your reminder and thank you for your service on the Hamilton County School Board.

Charlie Hunt
Soddy Daisy

* * *

I am a bus driver for the Hamilton County Department of Education. Every day I come in contact with a number of kids who just need a good adult role model. Someone who can love them and encourage them and help them to just navigate the difficulties of life.

It is very easy to be critical of the school board and our school leaders but Mr Smith is right that I need to ask myself the question “Am I doing all I can to help wherever I can to help a child who might need me?”  

Your letter here has motivated me to be more involved in mentoring at least one student. Thank you for your encouragement.  

Debbie Bilyeu

* * *

It is easy to write a check and easier to sign your name to a petition.  

It is hard work to help someone else in need, especially if that is an under-privileged child.

Problems are solved through hard work, love and dedication.

To quote a man I respect. And I stole his line again today….(sorry, not sorry)

“This is not our home, we are just passing through. Shouldn't we try and help somebody?”
-Joe Smith

Arch E. Trimble IV

 

* * * 

Joe Smith is a pretty smart guy. I would suggest people listen to him and Rhonda.

Mickey Spence


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