Girls Voice: Reaction to Superintendent Charles T. Epps’ Remarks
April 27, 2011
By Dami Adeyemi, WMC intern, poet, and Baldwin High School student
As a young, female high school student I am deeply offended by Superintendent Charles T. Epps’ declaration, “Our worst enemy is the young ladies. The young girls are bad. I don’t know what they’re drinking today, but they’re bad.”
By placing the blame for the community’s problems on young girls only, Epps is indirectly encouraging reckless behavior among the youth. When a teenager is continuously accused of false wrongdoing, eventually he or she is pushed to commit those wrongdoings out of rebellion. This case is similar. If Epps continues to place the blame on young girls, young girls and boys may see this as a reason to cause commotion with the purpose of exceeding Epps’ expectations in a mocking manner.
As a Superintendent, Epps’ goals should be set on uplifting the student body with positivity; instead Epps is promoting the use of discrimination, a behavior we have always been taught to fight against. Consequently, I would like to challenge Epps by questioning the basis upon which he has drawn his conclusions about the young girls of today. What exactly has led him to believe that the corruption of the community lies within the hands of our female youth?
Aside from his fiscal attempt to correct the bad behavior of these young girls by assigning mentors, what has he done from a personal stand point to educate the student body as a whole?
Rather than pointing fingers at a population of minors, Epps should aim his accusations inward by working to improve his skewed way of thinking. It is disappointing to see that in today’s day and age where we, as a nation, have made major advances in women’s rights and discrimination, there are still a number of individuals who are advocates of the foul ideology that Epps is spreading. As an educator, Epps should not be so hasty to place the blame on any group of students. Instead, he should encourage educators much like himself to formulate efficient ways to communicate with the youth while simultaneously educating them.
Getting young people involved in activities for the community will serve as a benefit for every resident. As Britni Danielle, writer for Clutch Magazine, correctly noted, “We cannot expect our youth to become successful adults if we continue to tear them down and label them anything less than capable.”