“Eugene Johnson’s First Day of School”

10 Sep
Dear Readers,
 
Even though Thing One and Thing Two (my neighbor’s children) had the most wonderful first day and days of school sadly there were others in Cleveland not as lucky…and who ever said money can’t buy love didn’t have a five year old in the Cleveland school system!
 
Unlike Mr. Morris (author “Eugene Johnson’s First Day of School”) I have no faith in blindly pouring more money in the hands of (idiots) Cleveland’s school administrators. They have not proven why they are still in their present jobs much less anything else regarding money (“large tax level”)! If the people in positions of power (Cleveland School Administrators) cannot figure out a school was demolished a year earlier how and why should we have any faith in their ability to manage even more money and more children. 
 
The Cleveland schools remind me of a quote; “Sometimes forgiving someone is like giving a gunman another bullet.”
 
 
You have to understand I am the kind of person that believes when it comes to an education luck should have nothing to do with it. Below is an article about Eugene Johnson’s first day of Kindergarten published in The Plain Dealer (Cleveland’s newspaper). As miserable as it was for Eugene Johnson, Mr. Morris comes to an incredibly inadequate conclusion. 
 
 
The article below confirms and reaffirms the knowledge the Cleveland schools need to be taken over without delay. Immediately firing the present administrators, institutionalize accountability, like the rest of corporate America! If you send a client to a meeting in a building that had been demolished a year earlier, you would get fired, as you should. 
 
Mr. Morris I stand firm in my opinion; pouring good money after bad makes absolutely no sense in fact could even in danger many more children’s lives. My conclusion – Fire all that were responsible!
 
 
Please read the article below…
 
“Eugene Johnson’s first day of kindergarten was a complete disaster: Phillip Morris
 
 
Eugene Johnson strapped on his Spiderman book bag early Wednesday morning and headed out the front door with a single thought in mind. Breakfast at the school where he would be starting Kindergarten.
 
He didn’t care that he and his mother had to walk 25 minutes down Cleveland’s 130th Street in order to catch the No. 22 RTA bus on Lorain Avenue.
 
He didn’t care that he would have to ride that bus for 10 minute, get off near 99th Street, and walk still another 10 minutes to Almira Elementary.
 
He didn’t even care that his mother woke him at 6:30 that morning and made him get extra clean for the first day of school.
 
He didn’t care because he’s 6. And when you’re 6, the first day of school is exciting – especially when you’ve been told that breakfast is going to be served.
 
There’s no way Eugene, a smallish boy, who dreams of owning his own computer, could have know that the Cleveland Metropolitan School district was about to teach him an important lesson, a lesson that will likely remain with him for sometime:
Life doesn’t always come with a breakfast.
 
“When he found out that he wasn’t going to get breakfast, he just started crying. I wanted to cry too,” Shanesha King, the mother, said Friday morning.
 
Eugene Johnson didn’t get his eagerly anticipated school breakfast Wednesday morning because the building the school district told him to report to at 3375 West 99th Street no longer exists.
 
He was instructed to report to Almira Elementary School, which was built in 1916 and demolished in 2010.
The place where the school once stood is now a large hole in the ground — the scene of a fresh construction site and home of a future Cleveland school.
 
Mistakes happen.
 
But try explaining that reality to a boy on his first day of school. Try explaining bureaucratic errors, like non-existent buildings or phantom addresses, to a kid who had spent days debating whether to carry the Scooby Doo, or the Spiderman book bag on Day One.
Try explaining to a boy, who had been dreaming of new friends and breakfast, that his first day of school is one he’s likely never to forget, for all of the wrong reasons.
 
Cleveland remains a sprawling district, filled with transient families that often move multiple times throughout a single academic year. It’s a difficult task to track students.
With a mobility rate of 30 percent, children can easily disappear within the system as families migrate throughout the city, and in and out of the district.
 
But how do you send a boy – and 293 other students — to a school that was closed in 2009 and demolished a year later?
 
No one seems to have a good answer. Roseann Canfora, the district’s communication’s officer, said the mistake was realized Tuesday, the day before school began. A phone message was hastily recorded and dialed to the 294 families that had been instructed to take their children to the vacant lot on West. 99th.
 
But it’s not at all clear how many children, like Eugene, still showed up at the wrong site, because the district didn’t have working contact telephone numbers for all of the parents.
 
Interestingly enough, no signs were posted at the erroneous address redirecting people to the proper location off of West 117th street. No district employee was assigned to the hole in the ground, to point parents and their young children to the building that now temporarily housing Almira elementary, some two miles away.
 
In the big scheme of things, the mistake of sending nearly 300 Cleveland school children to an active construction site is far from the worst thing that could happen to the district.
 
There’s no reason to believe that this embarrassing mistake need distract from the district’s stated goal of becoming “a premier school district in the United States of America.”
 
But still, one cannot help but wonder the following:
If the administration figured out, belatedly, that it had directed scores of families to the wrong address, why didn’t it simply have someone waiting at the hole in the ground with coffee, fruit and cookies?
 
That simple measure would have stopped one little boy’s first day of school from being a complete disaster. And it would have made an impoverished Cleveland mother feel a little bit better about the $5 she was needlessly forced to spend on an all day bus pass.
 
It’s simple things like that — and getting children graduated — that help get large tax levies passed.
 
By Phillip Morris, The Plain Dealer – Friday, August 24, 2012
 
 
Asklotta and staff will MIND YOUR BUSINESS today fed up with “bureaucratic errors” and “large tax levies” because putting money in the hands of the stupid and the entitled only creates a hot mess, as poor Eugene Johnson knows all too well!
 
 
Again, it has been my pleasure to tell you what to do and what NOT to do!
 
Kindest regards,
 
Asklotta
 
President and CEO
 
CBCorp
Image 

6 Responses to ““Eugene Johnson’s First Day of School””

  1. Liz September 10, 2012 at 12:28 pm #

    I’m saddened by the experience this little guy could take forward with him into his school career, knowing that ONE experience, ONE teacher, or ONE comment can make or break an attitude toward school for a lifetime. I was told I was lazy by a 3rd grade teacher, so I lived that out — until I got into college (2nd weak attempt) and was told by an instructor that I was an A student but I just didn’t know it. That comment changed my attitude, my grades, and my life. One comment! I pray that Eugene hears that particular comment that will help him have faith in the school system and HIMSELF. Let’s hope his mom can take this experience, talk with Eugene about it, and turn it into something positive — like a drive to beat this sad system. We need victors, not victims!

    • asklotta September 10, 2012 at 2:43 pm #

      From your lips to God’s ears! I always love your loving and insightful comments Liz! You truly bring peace and love in to my life when it is most needed. Thank you so much!

  2. Nancy Kaufman September 10, 2012 at 12:28 pm #

    I heard about this but after reading your post I’m embarrassed for the school system and my heart breaks for Eugene. It makes me want to start a movement to go provide breakfast for these kids and drive them to school.

    • asklotta September 10, 2012 at 2:47 pm #

      So true! I too had the feeling of helplessness! What we consider normal…breakfast, an education, computers etc are beyond some’s wildest dreams!

  3. legionwriter September 10, 2012 at 12:47 pm #

    Oh, this is a pisser!

    • asklotta September 10, 2012 at 2:48 pm #

      You got that straight…How could anyone keep their job after that day is beyond my comprehension!

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