Ralph Higgonbothem (Taylorville School Superintendent)
At first, I didn’t know they were there,
About one hundred students,
Standing in front of my house,
Blocking the street,
But totally silent.
They just stood there,
It was weird.
I blew them off.
If any of them had gotten on my yard,
I would have called the cops,
I will not be intimidated by children,
They don’t know what is going on with this problem.
They’re just kids, feh.
Jerry Dean (Basketball, Eight Bars Parents)
A Talk text,
Everyone, time to take protests on the road,
No vandalizing, no noise
Straight up silence.
Riley Parsons (Local Reporter)
Tonight in Taylorville
The protesting parents met,
On one side the Eight Bars parents
Who started a protest against the quality
Of the coaches at Taylorville High School.
Their goal was to have funding for sports dropped
And then re-appropriated for music education.
It seemed to many to be a rip off your nose to spite your face protest.
To combat the Eight Bars parents,
Another group, calling themselves the Music Friends of Sports,
Called for the school district to hold the line on funding
Thereby keeping the sports and music budgets intact.
In a bizarre turn, the Taylorville superintendent, Ralph Higgonbothem,
Suspended funding for the sports teams
Until the parents could work out their differences.
The meeting did not go as planned,
Unconfirmed reports have the two groups splintering
More forcefully than before.
One anonymous source is claiming
That the district will lose standing in the state’s athletic association.
Another added, “The district will be cool with that,
Then they can turn the money saved into bonuses for administrators.”
There doesn’t seem to be an end in sight for this conflict.
Ego is a difficult thing to deal with,
Setting examples of admitting wrong
Comes hard to those full of hubris,
Unsure of themselves,
Or just plain hard headed.
These parents, guided by a vision for their children,
Have been played by a system
So disharmonious that valor would have them
Simply walk away.
Too bad that they don’t have the stones to do it.
Music Friends of Sports Parents
Their Calm Comeback…
You guys suck.
You started it.
You made it the way it is.
Now our kids hate us.
Now our businesses suffer.
Now you want us to back your cause.
We won’t follow your views.
We loathe sports in the first place.
No, we loathe sports parents.
Eight Bars Parents
The whole thing gives,
It gives coaches power and pay
With nothing guaranteed on the backend
We pay, they play, and nothing happens
College dreams are dashed,
Pro dreams are slashed, and
All we get is a certificate, shitty banquet, and a handshake.
We think that’s wrong.
The coaches are not doing their jobs,
So how about we move that money
To where it can do more good.
Band kids are just happy playing,
They have no real hope of playing in college
They would appreciate the extra dough.
They could get whatever they need
Uniforms, hats, a Gator, or something.
That’s what gives.
I was handed a book today,
It was awkward.
The cover, half black, half white
Included the word, “Negro,” in the title.
Me, being white didn’t know
How to take the word,
Given that the man who brought me the book
Is African American.
We talked about the Steelers choking,
The loss of money wagered on the losers,
And when the book was due.
Later, he would send me two more books.
I dove into Contemporary Poets of the Negro (1921)
Unsure of what I was looking for,
But then I realized that the book spoke clearly,
White people, back then, needed to wake up.
I couldn’t agree more, only with a tenor struck
In our present, for little has changed
In the way the cultures don’t exist together,
A token acceptance based on guilt rather than acceptance.
Perhaps Kerlin’s words,
“For both races it augurs ill,” capture the problem
With the delicate existence of race relations no matter the cultures,
And its time everyone fixed things, before all our cores are hollowed out.
A fog filled Sunday
Nothing but the weekend’s end
Work starts tomorrow
Endings come along
Be ready, cycles keep going
Beginnings are next
Giving a quiz
Peace and quiet fills my soul