One of my earliest school memories has to do with being pushed through a plate-glass window at Rossman Elementary by one of the school bullies.
Justice, of course, never seems to prevail at such moments.
As I lay prone on my back, nestled among shards of shattered glass and looking up at hundreds of pint-sized inquisitors, I was rescued from my predicament by a teacher with long arms and even longer legs.
I recall quite a bit of discussion in the principal’s office about my role in the incident, along with a significant amount of finger-pointing on my part.
My fellow classmates, perhaps more interested in steering clear of flying glass than in setting the record straight, were silent on the matter.
So as the only identified perpetrator, I bore the brunt of the blame.
I thought about this and some of my other experiences with bullies after our discussion with Dallas Public Schools Supt. Yvonne Gonzalez (the Advocate Interview, beginning on Page 23).
In person, Dr. Gonzalez is a much smaller and more genteel person than she appears on television. But one impression remains the same: She speaks confidently and frankly when talking about the state of Dallas public schools and some of the, for lack of a better term, bullies who are standing in the way of improving our children’s education.
Many of us are guilty of being pushed around by a few media-savvy bullies who deride our public schools day after day after day without so much as a whimper from us.
But Dr. Gonzalez has drawn a line in the sand. And when the bullies cross the line, we’ve seen her fight back.
If you learn nothing else from our Advocate Interview with Dr. Gonzalez this month, I hope you’ll reach this conclusion: We have an inspired, seemingly fearless leader in charge of our public schools.
And in these days of racial whining and changing demographics, we need a fearless leader more than anything else.
Many of us have been bullied into thinking our public schools aren’t good enough for our children anymore. If you impartially analyze the test scores and other factors, that’s simply not true.
Instead, we need to stop running from the problem and join Dr. Gonzalez in standing up to the bullies.
After all, we can’t expect her to stand alone against the bullies forever.
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