GRADUATION TIME IN RURAL AMERICA

Natureman and I attended a family high school graduation this weekend in a small neighboring agricultural town. To report the ‘highlight’ of the event was the small class number meaning we could depart in an hour and a half was because what we observed left us both a bit empty and saddened.

What happened may have not been as blatant to other attendees. Before the pomp and circumstance processional began Natureman asked our 10 yr old granddaughter if she noticed anything about the 10 people ( school board members/ administrators ) sitting on the stage in front of us. She hesitated and responded they were all wearing flowers. Yes, they did all have a boutonniere , yet all were white men. Unconsciously, she is getting the message that white men are in charge. This is rural America.

The class video was composed of seeing the class as kindergarteners grow into the seniors before us. What struck us were the high school photos were shock full of sports – football, baseball, basketball with a little girls volleyball thrown in and, of course, cheerleaders and the popular kids. Absent were the other high school kids’s experiences with friends eating lunch together, science fair projects, debate, their excellent music/ theater program, etc …

Inspirational words were lacking from the new principal and valedictorian of what lies ahead or hopes for satisfied lives. If not now, when? What does the future hold for these graduates? What percentage will seek more education/much needed vocational training?

Oh dear, folks we are in for more trouble than we even know…

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