LOCAL VOICES: Close interaction with a principal of the ‘Beautiful Kind’
A 9-year-old boy awaiting pick-up after school ends up in principal’s office where something extraordinary happens Editor’s Note: We are fraught with far too many stories of tragic Black male interaction and in encounters with police.
A 9-year-old boy awaiting pick-up after school ends up in principal’s office where something extraordinary happens
Editor’s Note: We are fraught with far too many stories of tragic Black male interaction and in encounters with police. All is not lost, however. The following is a short “feel good” story that will leave you longing for more. It involves an interaction between Hillcrest Drive Elementary School principal Anthony Jackson and a 9-year-old fourth grader after school was dismissed at the Baldwin Village school on a recent day in early October.
By ANTHONY JACKSON, Contributing Writer
Reflecting this morning on one of my Black boys who was not picked up on time yesterday after school: Fierce kid. Smart as a whip too. Undeniably great but doesn’t quite understand what all that means just yet.
After the office team leaves and the after-school program closes the school is dead quiet. It’s just him and me. I give him a snack and get back to grinding on my work. He comments how quiet it is after farting around playing with some trinkets on my desk and watching me work, then asks for a pencil, and gets busy on his homework. Without me prompting him. Just following my lead of me modeling that work.
I tell him that’s why I work late. I get my best work done when everyone is gone and the school is free of distractions. I can see him get more motivated. He begins to focus, whispering aloud his thinking through some math problems. Then he asks for writing paper.
I’m typing a reflection for my evaluation this year. He’s writing an essay. Fills two pages. When he’s done I could feel his sense of accomplishment. He tells me it’s good that when he gets home he’s got the rest of the evening to himself. I simply say, “Yup. Good work.”
Eventually, his aunt with the only working phone number of all those listed calls me back at 6:15 p.m., and lets me know a family member will fetch him.
He tells me thanks for being the best principal. Says if he could vote for “Best Principal” he’d vote for me. And if he could vote for president he’d vote for Hillary Clinton.
Thanks, fierce Black boy for allowing me the privilege of serving you.
Ed’s Note: Mr. Jackson’s story prompted the following heartwarming platitudes:
Anthony Jackson: “Yes. Of course. Fourth grade, 9 years old.”
Lisa Harmison: “Now this is priceless!”
Shannon Davis: “See, told you, you [are] the best.”
Paula Armstead: “You are the very best! For real!”
ShortiRoc: “I vote you best principal, and not just because of this post, but because I know firsthand!”
Philip Bucknor: “The power of interaction. Iron sharpening iron! On his way to being self-actualized!”
Virgil Ford: “People like you make a real difference! Blessings abound.”
Michael Haggood: “What a great moment!”
Danny Sabella: “Thank you for being you. Just read the story of a 17-year-old who jumped to his death .You make a difference.”
Jennifer White: “Give thanks, Brotha Man.”
Kevin L. Brown: “You are an old soul, a griot.”
Jonathan De Veaux: “Beautiful story, brother. Good example.”
Jackie Porter-Morris: “I love that he witnessed your greatness…your love! So thankful that my two were blessed to witness the greatness and unconditional love you give each day. Be blessed and keep being a blessing! Love you always, in all ways!”
Diedra Floyd Ndiaye: “Thanks for reminding me to always model the actions we wish to see!”