“I Was Failed Once by the School System” Now This Oakland Parent Is Finding Her Voice and Power

A guest post from Lisa Babbitt and Oakland parent describing her experiences and why she joined The Oakland REACH

Do you know how impossible it can feel to play in a game when you don’t know the rules?

You get dismissed, pushed out, left feeling defeated. I know this feeling all too well trying to help my son navigate the school system.

How can a child sit in class every day and not get what they need to be on track?

Well this was his reality.

Teachers, faculty, staff were all determined there was nothing my son could do that would allow him to graduate on time so he was coached out to get his GED. I say coached out because getting his GED was never on his roadmap to success. My son left school unprepared to enter college and with a defeated attitude. School administrators stopped believing in him so this caused him to alter his vision of success.

The system had failed him.

Who here has seen that happen to a child?

Even though I was constantly up at the school during this time, I didn’t know who or where I could go to for help. Looking back, I don’t think there was anywhere to go. I’m part of Oakland REACH because I want to change that. I want us to have resources, a support system – to know how to make our voices heard, to demand change.

We at the Oakland REACH believe success in school is being ready for college… and for jobs in Silicon Valley, or wherever our children want to go! Our children should have the best choices for their future.

But right now, they’re just not ready.

I’m speaking out because I want my daughter to be ready. I don’t want her to go through what my son went through.

She deserves to get the skills she needs to pursue whatever career path she chooses. She should leave Oakland schools confident that she can compete for top-paying jobs and pursue higher education. She deserves options for her future.

Who agrees that’s what all our children deserve?

What do you think?

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