For many Black families, choosing a school means ensuring that the culture and climate of the school will support and validate their children. Too often school systems label, diagnosis, and penalize Black children for displaying everyday child behaviors.
Meet Robert Eschmann:
What is your dream for your children’s education?
I want them to have the tools to pursue their interest, wherever that may take them in life.
Where do you send your child to school and how did you make that choice?
My kids attend St. Thomas the Apostle School. We live in Hyde Park, and the school is in our neighborhood. We were looking for a school with a strong sense of community that also focused on the holistic development of the child. Also, we wanted all three of our kids to be in the same building.
How does your education experience, and background impact the decision you make for your children?
From my own experiences and being someone who works in education, I wanted a school that had a history of educating children of color successfully. Additionally, knowing the research pertaining to black children being over disciplined, I wanted a school where the everyday child behaviors weren’t being coded as disruptive or overly aggressive.
What is the name of your favorite teacher and why are was s/he your favorite?
Mr. Onefrey helped me make the connection between reading, which was a hobby of mine, and doing well in school.
What is one thing you wish decision makers understood about educating your child and other Black children?
Do not lose faith in parents or communities. Don’t blame them for being the victims of a broken and unequal system. Instead, invest in the tools and resources to help them change the system.