Ernest Hooper: Applaud Shamburger for asking hard questions

Hillsborough School Board member Tamara Shamburger accopanied Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office officials during Student Day at the Florida State Fair on Feb. 9.
Hillsborough School Board member Tamara Shamburger accopanied Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office officials during Student Day at the Florida State Fair on Feb. 9.
Published February 12 2018
Updated February 13 2018

Hillsborough County School Board member Tamara Shamburger, going above and beyond, assisted the Hillsborough County Sheriffís Office at the Florida State Fair on Fridayó the eventís annual Student Day.

Shamburger, however, came away disheartened. Of the four people arrested or the 30 ejected, all were black. She described them as defiant, disrespectful, uncaring .?.?. and young.

In a moving Facebook post, she lamented the sad outcomes.

"Where life should begin, their actions could potentially end it. I scream about the systematic and institutional racism plaguing the school system. I demand it be fixed .?.?. but my fight is deflated and muted when this same behavior happens in our schools.

"How do we help our kids? How do we break this cycle? How do we strengthen our culture? How do we win?"

Victory only can come from boldly owning up to the issue, as Shamburger did in her post.

Ensuing posts blamed parents, but Iím sure Shamburger would agree we canít stop at condemning neglectful moms and dads.

Somehow the district and really, the community, must connect with them, help them see the error of their ways and respectfully challenge them to meet their responsibilities.

In the interim, we have to make up for the void created by the lessons not taught at home. Weíre left with no choice but to start with teachers and staff already facing unfair legislative demands and unruly kids.

I applaud Shamburger for getting a first-hand look at just one symptom of a larger problem. I appreciate the obvious emotion in her questions.

I just hope weíre willing to join her in the quest for answers. This isnít her problem, or their problem. Itís our problem.

Thatís all Iím saying.

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