Parent shares concerns about education
Published 7:00 am Wednesday, February 24, 2016
A concerned parent addressed the Picayune Separate Municipal School Board Tuesday afternoon about some concerns he has with the current state of education in Mississippi.
Allen Hickman said he has become concerned with how this state’s education system has progressed. He said he feels the current model is creating a situation where students are becoming indoctrinated rather than receiving an education.
He said the lawmakers who set forth the changes are not affected, since they all send their children to private school.
One of the things he’s noticed deals with the new textbooks. An example included new methods to solve math problems that seem to be confusing children rather than educating them.
Another example involved stereotypical statements found in a seventh grade health class textbook. Hickman said his son alerted him to the statements in the book, which state black men prefer women who are “thick and fat”, while white men “prefer thin women.”
“Under what context is that important to learn?” Hickman asked the board.
Hickman also said that history books are devoid of large portions of history.
To set the education system on the right track, Hickman proposed implementing a two-track system in the 9th and 10th grade. That system would include a path to immediate employment upon graduation for students uninterested in college, or a preparatory course to ready students who are interested in going to college.
Another thing Hickman said he would like to see is the reintroduction of corporal punishment in schools.
“The rod of correction drives foolishness from the heart of a child, that’s in a book I read,” Hickman said, paraphrasing a part of the Bible.
If change does not come soon, Hickman fears that all families that can afford it will put their children in private schools. Such a movement would effectively leave those who cannot afford private school to attend public schools, recreating the 1960’s, Hickman said.
At the conclusion of Hickman’s presentation, board president Edward Stubbs asked if Hickman has shared his concerns with those at the state level, since that is where policy decisions are made. Hickman said he has not.
No action was taken on the information Hickman shared.
In other matters the district approved a motion to establish 8 positions within the district for website managers, one for each school and one for the district. Superintendent Dean Shaw said the aim is to create all new websites for each school and the district.
The board also approved a motion to accept a grant from the Lower Pearl River Valley Foundation, which will be used to fund a field trip for students to take a train ride and visit the Hattiesburg Zoo. Assistant Superintendent Brent Harrell said school curriculum will be built around the trip.
The next school board meeting is set for March 8 at 5:30 p.m.