On Tuesday night, I attended the “Raise our Standards” presentation held at the Owatonna Country Club. There were two presenters who covered two different but related topics.
The first presenter, Kendall Qualls, resonated with me because his topic focused on the struggles of single parents, and how those struggles tie directly to the education outcomes of kids. It had nothing to do with race and the truth is, it correctly destroys the hateful rhetoric that is thrown around by race baiters and other haters hellbent on dividing us and creating a society of oppressors and victims.
According to the presentation, many kids of single parents aren’t achieving the same results as kids in two-parent households. When our community is approached with the problem of students not getting a good education based on the struggles of single parents’ vs. race-based assertions, it changes the entire conversation. I suspect the whole community can get behind accommodating single parents and kids who need help. Whether it’s transportation, nutrition, healthcare, mentorship, employment or childcare. A community will embrace the notion of helping someone get through the struggles of being a single parent so that their kids will receive a better education. As Qualls said during his presentation, Americans will get behind anyone who wants to achieve success.
As a community, we have to be in charge of our kids’ education that ensures graduation, and proper preparation for higher education and/or a successful career. That can’t be done if we choose to swim in the gutter with activist groups, and some politicians who seek to divide us.
Do our kids have a better chance of being successful in life if the community focuses on meeting the needs of the individual parent and child in order to mitigate those things that are getting in the way of an excellent education? Or do our kids stand a better chance of success by being named an oppressor, or a victim of oppression?
I got to tell you that I fell in love with Owatonna Tuesday night because of the passion I witnessed during those presentations. As a community, I’m convinced we’ll be fully informed and will have a hearty debate on the future curriculum being presented to our kids. I’m also convinced that the community will come up with meaningful solutions to meet the needs of individual parents and students who may need help and support in achieving their education goals. In some cases, those solutions are probably already in place.
In the last two weeks I’ve seen a warm and friendly community who are bullish on business, compassionate, and willing to stand up strong against threats from outside groups who want to divide us. Thank you, Owatonna, for demonstrating what other communities only dream of.