All posts by renniehar

About renniehar

Coming back to school after 20 years. Really happy to do that and is having fun . My peers have been really helpful . So blessed to have good professor too

Building Bridges


Close your eyes and imagine your first day of school.  Now imagine being told you have to go to a new school because you’re smart.  Imagine being excited and all dressed up for your first day of a new school but the police arrive to escort you to school instead of a school bus.  You walk into your new school but see crowds of people shouting at you and you feel hated.  Imagine sitting in a new classroom where no one looks like you and no one wants to be your friend.  This is not the typical experience most of us had on our first day of school but for Ruby Bridges this was reality.  

Ruby Bridges was the first African American girl to integrate into an all white public elementary school in New Orleans, Louisiana.  Around the time Ruby was born in 1954 Brown vs. The Board of Education, issued no segregation in public schools in the south.  When Ruby was 5 years old she was given a test in order to get into public school.  The school system purposely made this academic test hard so that they could keep their schools segregated a little while longer  but Little Ruby Bridges passed with flying colors.


What Ruby Bridges and her family didn’t expect was how changed their lives would be because they had such a smart daughter going to an all white school.  Ruby’s Father had worked at the same gas station for 8 years, but when Ruby started going to school and gaining attention and hatred from the community, he was fired.  Neighbors would refuse allowing their children to play with Ruby because she was bringing in too much negative attention on their neighborhood.  There was always police watching Ruby and her families house for protection.  The local grocery store Ruby and her family shopped at told them they were no longer welcome to shop in their store.  All of this happened because Ruby proved African Americans can learn in the same capacity to all other races.


Imagine what the school system and the neighborhoods would look like today if we didn’t have the Ruby Bridges of the world.
Ruby Bridges (1954-).  Taken From Young and Brave :Girls Changing History. “National Women’s History Museum.” Education & Resources. National Women’s History Museum, n.d. Web. 09 June 2016.    

Should College Athletes be Paid?

money Nocera wrote an article in the New York Times on “Ways to Start Paying College Athletes.”  The article focuses on large schools with football and basketball programs.  He proposes we start paying players based on their positions and potential of going pro. He states schools generate money based on college games and ticket sales, televised games, college video game sales, apparel, and boosters and athletes should receive a salary of that profit.  He believes each player should have minimum salary of $25,000 and then speciality and star players can be offered anywhere between $40,000-$60,000 at recruitment.  One of his arguments is that if college athletes are paid it will reduce the one year drop outs and encourage college athletes to complete their 4 year college experience, resulting in academic benefits.  According to his plan, athletes should have lower academic loads and extended college time and still be considered full time students.  Nocera goes on to explain that smaller colleges or universities (not known for their sports)  would have to figure out a way to pay their players.  


For me as a former college athlete I believe this is wrong on so many levels.  In his article he focuses on basketball and football athletes but what about other sports and other players that generate money into the school.  By paying only basketball and football players you would draw a wedge and would be giving a message that they are above others students.  Another concern is giving an 18 year old, so much money and them not having a clue what to do with it.  Lawyers and financial advisers would have to brought in which is even more of an expense.  I believe paying college athletes gives the message that money triumphs over education, respect, and self worth.  I wonder how the the sports programs would be affected by this money going to the athletes instead of school programming.  Would schools be able to still travel and cover travel expense, new stadiums, uniforms, facilities, athletic trainers and coaches.  Could college sports programs still give scholarships if this money is being given to its players as salary?  It seems as if this money is going to be taken from programming for students.  Playing college athletes loses the focus and importance of a college education.  It sending a wrong message to our youth that excelling in sports is everything, that you don’t need to be educated in order to make money.  Its taking away the message that the college journey of hard work, team work, unity, and goal making the college experience provides.  Our youth are worth more than just the money they make.                           


Nocera, Joe. “A Way to Start Paying College Athletes.” The New York Times. The New York Times, 08 Jan. 2016. Web. 02 June 2016.


The Montgomery Bus Boycott


The Montgomery Bus Boycott was more than just a strike against a bus system, it was a foot in the door for equality and justice for all.  It also was an opportunity and platform for leaders to step up such as Martin Luther King Jr and Rosa Parks.  I believe the Montgomery Bus Boycott brought to light and began the movement for equality in the United States.

The Montgomery Bus Boycott started because African Americans were tired of being mistreated on the the bus system.  African Americans payed the same price to ride the bus as everyone else but were treated different.  They were required to pay driver up front but then had to enter the bus from a back door.  Sometimes drivers would drive off after payment leaving them with no ride home.  If the buses filled up and a white passenger came aboard it was expected for the the African American passenger to give up their seats and move closer to the back.  “75 percent of Montgomery’s bus ridership was African American” so they decided to use those numbers, work together and start a boycott.


It took lots of organization and motivation to begin this boycott and steps to equality.  One leader that rose to the occasion was Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.  He was a young, 26 year old Pastor that was just beginning his career and family life.  People viewed him as a fresh young face to start new directions for the movement of equality.  He inspired millions to make a difference and change using non-violent and peaceful acts.  He became the face and leader of the movement.

Rosa Parks is another well known name in the Civil Right Movement.  “Nine months before Rosa Parks’ arrest for refusing to give up her bus seat, 15 year old Claudette Colvin was arrested in Montgomery for the same act.  The city’s black leaders prepared to protest, until it was discovered Colvin was pregnant and deemed an inappropriate symbol for their cause.9 months later, Rosa Parks was on her way home and refused to move from her bus seat and a movement began.  Rosa Parks was an ideal symbol for the movement being an older African American woman, who was a hard worker and secretary for the NAACP at the time.


Montgomery Bus Boycott was a starting point of Martin Luther King Jr., Rosa Parks and the start of the civil rights movement for equality.  It made public and began shed light on how African Americans were being treated in the south with segregation laws.  And it gave opportunity to unite and help each other make a difference in the United States.  That’s why the the Montgomery Bus Boycott was not just a strike against a bus system but a foot in the door for equality and justice for all.       

Reference: Staff. “Montgomery Bus Boycott.” A&E Television Networks, 01 Jan. 2010. Web. 31 May 2016.

Police Brutality vs. Police Protection in School


There was recently, an incident at Central High School that brought up the debate of police brutality vs. police protection in School. According to stories in the Twin Cities news A 16 year old boy, who was not a student of Saint Paul Public Schools was roaming the school without permission. School Officer responded to situation and ended up using pepper spray and arresting the young man for trespassing. High School students observing the incident filmed the young man being arrested. Black Lives Matter Movement caught onto the story and assembled a protest at Central High School calling it Police Brutality.


As and n employee for Saint Paul Public Schools these articles and videos brought many questions to my mind. For example…What was the young man’s purpose or motive of being on school premises? Did he have weapons? Did he come to the school to threaten, beat up, or cause disruption? Did he have a bomb? Was he gang associated? Why is he out of school himself at 16 years old? With all that is going on in the news about gangs and young adult shootings we have been recently in the Twin Cities. It’s understandable we want to protect our young adults as much possible.

imageIn my opinion, the police officer was called in when the situation was escalated to a high level where protection was needed. I believe the officer used his training he had to get the student off the school premises where he did not belong. When an officer comes to situations he is also putting his himself in harm’s way and asking himself some of the same questions I did above. I think the officer was protecting the school, students, staff and young trespasser to best of his abilities and training. I think about what if their was a trespassing student in my building that was asked to leave by multiple by adults and he refused, it would cause panic and chaos. Students would be cheated and distracted out of learning time, staff would become on edge, and school procedures such as lock down might need to occur to assure the safety of all involved. When I think about the possibilities or what ifs this situation could have brought it really scares me. I’m glad schools and school officers have procedures and ways to address trespassers so that bigger and tragic situations don’t occur more often. I believe we should all work together to keep our schools safe from harm.
To check out articles on this situation written by the Pioneer Press click on the links below…



The connection between two influential leaders

What do Hitler and Martin Luther King Jr. have in common? You might have thought you would never see these two names together in one sentence. But, I’m going to explain and point out some connections.

Martin Luther King Jr. was an exceptional leader. During a time in history, when our country was segregated and full of racism. Martin Luther King Jr. was a beacon of hope and equality. He spoke out and helped African Americans have a voice. He started in the churches by being a pastor just like his father. It’s the church that influenced his speech giving abilities. He also found the church to be a go too for sharing ideals, beliefs and hope for African Americans. He is known for his nonviolent approach for equality. He turned negative situations into learning experiences and was not afraid to take a stand and encourage others to take a stand for equality in a peaceful manner. Martin Luther King Jr. helped bridge a gap at a time when African Americans felt there was no hope for equality. He lead and organized the Civil Rights Movement.

imageAdolf Hitler was a military operations leader during World War II. He was determined to have complete control and a master race of Germany and even the world. He was a leader that demanded authority and “lead with an iron fist” creating his dictatorship. He was known for his influential speech giving where he made a majority of his country believe in his personal beliefs and to follow outrageous demands. He used fear and violence as a tactic to control the people around him. He used the media of the time to get his word out to the people. Adolf Hitler gave a fighting spirit back to Germany after World War I, with his speeches and determination. Unfortunately, he was power hungry and had violent ideals of what the country and world should be.

So how are these two connected? Both came during a time when people were tired and wanted changes they were looking for answers and hope. They were both extremely influential leaders. Martin Luther King Jr. and Hitler had igniting and influential ability to reach people with their speeches. Both used media to their advantage to spread and get their messages heard. Both of these leaders were passionate and believed completely in what they were fighting for. Just goes to show you how impactful a leader can be in desperate times.

Martin Luther King Jr. summarization is from- Ling, Peter J., Dr. “Martin Luther King’s Style of Leadership.” BBC History. British Broadcasting Corporation, 01 April 2003. Web. 19 May 2015.

Hitler summarization is from- Megargee, Geoffery, Dr. “Hitler’s Leadership Style.” BBC History. British Broadcasting Corporation, 30 Mar. 2011. Web. 19 May 2016.

The Truth about “The Great Jackie Robinson”

I enjoyed watching the movie 42, which is an autobiography of Jackie Robinson. I have always enjoyed and been inspired by Jackie Robinson’s story of becoming the first African American to play professional baseball for the Brooklyn Dodgers. Watching this movie got me looking up some more facts about Jackie Robinson and I started to find many details missing from the movie 42 that I think were influential to the segregation moment.

While researching I stumbled across the article “ The Real Story of Baseball’s Integration That You Won’t See in 42,”by Peter Dreier. This article highlighted how the film 42 ignores the movement that helped and allowed Jackie Robinson to be able to be in the major leagues. The film focused on Jackie Robinson’s and Branch Rickey’s journey but did not highlight the civil rights struggle happening in the United States. Dreier writes, “Robinson would have been disappointed by the film that ignored the centrality of the broader civil right struggle.” Dreier concludes, “The film 42 missed an opportunity to express that Robinson understood that inequalities could not be solved alone but needed activism and protests to help create change.”

This article was an eye opener and reminder to the fact that Jackie Robinson was not only a major player in the American baseball league but also in the Civil Right Movement.

Dreier, Peter. The Atlantic. “The Real Story of Baseball’s Integration That You Won’t See in 42”. Atlantic Media Company, 11 Apr. 2013. Web. 17 May 2016.