I’ve known Joe Smith, a current member of the Hamilton County School Board, for what seems to be a lifetime. He’s as real a guy as I have ever known in my life and, while our views sometimes differ, he has dared to share his soul with me on more than one occasion. Do you know he and his wife have raised 19 beautiful foster kids, this after Joe was an orphan himself? Or how about the fact he’ll freely tell you he was on his way to commit suicide before, thanks be to God, his truck ran out of gas?
Through his Y-CAP program he quite literally transposed hundreds of kids' lives. We talked a good bit before he ran for the school board and his decision was for every right reason.
The biggest ace in his desk? “It’s about each individual child. Everything else is trivial – let’s focus of the child. Each child.”
Unfortunately, there are well-meaning but horribly misguided ones among us who want to tell second graders, “White people are oppressors … everybody else is oppressed,” which is not only a blatant lie in today’s modern society but yet another vehicle for radicals like “Black Lives Matter” to separate very good and decent minority citizens for “Black Lives Money.”
Then Planned Parenthood has just re-entered our local ranks and has embarked on an equally repulsive effort to influence our young. Why? “Planned Parenthood Money.” Just like “Black Lives Money,” these flamers see our children as easy prey; the kids don’t read about “Black Lives Matter” being up to their necks in corruption and “missing funds.” They have no idea the sordid record of Planned Parenthood or the kooks who handle its puppet strings.
As Matthew 7:15 has taught for centuries, “Beware of the false prophets, who come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly are ravenous wolves.”
So, the other day my pal Joe, a noted youth minister, shared a personal rant with me. I’m delighted to give you what was initially intended to be a private glimpse of a good’s man’s soul but one I think every parent should read:
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FROM THE DESK OF MY FRIEND JOE SMITH …
“What If …” Joe writes …
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 my ‘Ms. America’ and I have raised. Those conversations took place at our dining room table, or in the car driving to ball practice, or during 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% 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 if” 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 yet 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, District 3, Hamilton Co. School Board
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Praise God for Joe Smith, a good man. A good man indeed.