600 gathered. All colors, creeds and careers of men showed up at Billy Earl Dade Middle School to volunteer for an inaugural event focusing on male mentorship for male students.
Tracie Washington, the principal at Dade Middle, spearheaded the event as a way to pair students with male mentorship.
For an annual breakfast, she asked dads and father figures to attend alongside their children. However, a significant amount of students lacked an important adult male in their lives. Washington said that the subject was sensitive to her student population, but about 150 males requested help.
When she put out the call, the response was overwhelming. More over, students were shocked to see the waves of men waiting to meet them at the breakfast.
Dallas Assistant Chief of Police, Jason Rodriguez was one of a number of law enforcement in attended. He posted on Twitter, “Powerful to see a community of fellow men and fathers come together to wrap their arms around or young men. Thank you for having me out.”
Turning the Tide
A national study reported that Texas schools perform the worst in the country. Although the state implemented a voucher system and charter schools fill the district, poor students in north Texas struggle to perform at the standard level.
In 2014, the performance of Dade Middle was so poor that an impromptu visit by the school districts superintendent led to the firing of its principal, Michael Jones and ten teachers on the spot.
Since, Principal Washington, has been working tirelessly with staff, parents and the community to improve the South Dallas school.
Today, state legislatures consider a bill that allows the state to take control of local districtis. For now, Washington focuses on ensuring that her students receive all the resources she finds.
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