Patriotism Questioned While Kneeling During the National Anthem for Some Athletes

Just over a year ago former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick chose to knee during the playing of the National Anthem during a football game. The question is why did he choose this form of silent protest? Many people believe that Colin is very disrespectful to the men and women who fought for this country for him to have the right of that "freedom of expression."

People of color for generations have experienced different forms of American life educationally, politically, and socio-economically. Colin's protest focuses on the struggling relationship that African American males have with law enforcement and accountability of when deadly force is used. Muhammad Ali had a similar protest when he chose not to fight in the Vietnam War when he was drafted. Other than Ali's religious beliefs (Muslim), he also felt it was unjust for him to fight for a country that had treated him as a second-class citizen as an African American.

Both of these individuals made sacrifices to stand up for something they strongly believe. Ali lost millions of dollars, banned from boxing for three years and lost his heavyweight title. Colin Kaepernick is no longer with the San Francisco Forty-niners and has not been able to find a job in the NFL for over a year with the potential of millions in lost salary. Some believe Colin doesn't have a job because professional teams don't want to deal with the extra media or backlash it may cause the team or organization.

We have student-athletes participating in middle and high school games where the national anthem is played. A diverse number of students compete within SPS, and they have the right to freedom of expression if it does not interrupt the game or educational process. Regardless of our beliefs; let's continue to provide safe learning environments for all students.

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Hispanic Heritage Month: Ways to Explore the Latino Experince

In case you've forgotten Hispanic Heritage Month goes from September 15 through October 15. There are numerous ways to explore and celebrate the contributions of Latinos have made to our society. Remember, Hispanic and Latino history is also a part of American history so feel free to explore those experiences throughout the school year.

Here are a couple of lessons you can explore with your students.

“Latino Americans Share Their Experiences.” What You'll Learn: Latino Americans Share Their Experiences, lsintspl3.wgbh.org/en-us/lesson/ilwgbh17-1on1-illatinoamericans/1. Accessed 19 Sept. 2017.

What's in your Toolbox?

I'm Not Sure What to Call People

Most people want to be respectful when distinguishing others from different racial backgrounds, but we're not always sure about the right terminology we should use. Terminology has also changed over time as we attempt to be more inclusive. If we don't take the time to learn the correct terminology, we can create barriers when working students, families, and the community. Spend the time to get to know your students; they may also give you insight on their preference.

Here are a few of the most commonly used racial terms.

“NOT-OD-15-089: Racial and Ethnic Categories and Definitions for NIH Diversity Programs and for Other Reporting Purposes.” National Institutes of Health, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/NOT-OD-15-089.html. Accessed 19 Sept. 2017.

New Year for Ujima Collective Impact Series

The Collective Impact Series is a partnership between SPS, Greene County Library, NAACP, and Missouri State University. The purpose is to provide programming and activities to families in the community. Free daycare and food will be provided.

All sessions will be the third Saturday at Weller Elementary, 9:30 am - 12:00 pm. Future dates below.

October 21, 2017

November 18, 2017

December 16, 2017

January 20, 2018

February 17, 2018

March 17, 2018

April 21, 2018

May 19, 2018

Upcoming Events

Step 2 EmPowerment is Coming!

Step 2 EmPowerment is a partnership with Missouri State University where Hispanic students in high school have an opportunity to visit the MSU campus and learn some of the strategies needed in high school to make it to college. Students should visit their CSI if they have any questions.

Event: Step 2 EmPowerment

Date: Thursday, September 28

Location: Missouri State University, Plaster Student Union

Time: 9:00 am - 2:00 pm.

Youth Empowerment Summit- LIT (Leadership, Interact, Transform) October 20

The Youth Empowerment Summit is a partnership between MSU, SPS and the local NAACP. The summit is designed to help African American high school students understand what it takes to get to college and succeed while they're there. Students will be receiving additional information in their "Equity & Access" course in Canvas in the coming weeks.

Event: Youth Empowerment Summit (YES)

Date: Friday, October 20

Location: Missouri State University, Plaster Student Union

Time: 9:00 am - 2:00 pm.

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