Parents must continue what Bradley started
To the Editor:
I sat down and read the Sunday paper and saw the picture of Dr. [Margaret Breland-] Bradley talking to the children at the high school and she had the most beautiful smile on her face. I could tell that she really cares about the students of this county and how much she loves them. Anyone who didn't see this doesn't have eyes.
To the students of Escambia County High School, I say this: concentrate on your studies this year, do the best that you can and then do more. It's all right to play sports but when the sports are gone you will need your education more. All the great athletes in the world and mainly in the United States have degrees that they can fall back on when the ankle gets broken, the knee goes out, the back goes out, the hand gets broken, or too many concussions, or too many jail sentences. These are only a few of the things that can happen to you. But the most crucial thing to happen is to place all your hopes on getting a scholarship to college these days in sports and can't pass the exit exam or the college entrance exam. You have to pass those two tests to go anywhere near a college these days.
Concentrate on what's important to the rest of your future and what you want out of life. Take the bull by the horn and run with it. Take the long straw from the pack and blow with all your God-given talent and put your efforts into your education. Give as good as you get and don't let anyone tell you that you can't achieve the brass ring or the gold. Do it for yourself not for anyone else. Education is hard, harder than anything you will ever come up against in your life. The military will not let you in without a diploma and the job market is even harder. Being computer literate is of great importance these days; being mathematically inclined is of great importance; being scientifically challenged is important. All these subjects will be the source of what you will want out of life. Music is the beat by which all of us dance to in our heads but it will also get you into college; I know because my sons went to college on those very things. They wanted to play sports but I felt that education was the key to them getting the better jobs and getting the ultimate challenge out of life. One of my sons asked me once, "What if I failed this year in school?" I told him he had two choices and the first one didn't count. I won't tell you what the other choice was because I think you know. I say this to all the parents out here who have students in this school system, "Challenge your child to do the best that he or she can and then do more, give them the spirit and the hope that when they finish school and pass all the necessary exams that the future is theirs and it's up to them to go for it."
Don't let what Dr. Bradley has started go for nothing, don't let her dream of the best students in the state turn a deaf ear on their education. Your dreams for yourself are what she wants you to fulfill. Parents, it's your time to dig deep and find the wisdom and the patience to push the button to get your child on the move. It's your time to give them some mother wit you grew up with and some that you had to find.
Escambia County New South Coalition President