Alisha Coleman-Kiner loves her students. The Booker T. Washington principal is passionate about the young people at her Memphis area school, and it shows.
After one of her students, Myneisha Johnson, was tragically killed just days before she would have graduated, Coleman-Kiner decided to honor her memory by bestowing her diploma on slain teen’s infant.
While most people rallied to support Johnson’s family, some folks were critical of Coleman-Kiner’s decision to honor the teen’s memory by including her infant in the graduation ceremony. By all accounts Johnson, an honor student who was killed when a teen gunman fired into a crowd, was a hardworking student, but that didn’t stop one writer from criticizing the principal’s decision to honor her memory by lobbing ugly stereotypes at the teen.
Coleman-Kiner shared the offensive letter on Facebook.
The death of any young person is tragic. But to allow someone else to walk across the stage to accept her diploma is one thing but then give it to her young infant is another.
What are you thinking? The attitude and culture of the inner city youth need to change and doing this it won’t’ you’re acknowledging and celebrating this young child whose mother was tragically killed when in all fairness probably should have been home taking care of that young infant who now has no mother and quite frankly don’t know who this father is.
Food for thought.
Fed up by the criticism, Coleman-Kiner wrote her own open letter to the person, shutting down their foolish rhetoric.
Open letter to the lady who judged my baby….
Thank you so much for your unsolicited ‘food’ for thought. After regurgitating the washback you just emailed (as it was definitely not ‘food’), I offer the following appetizer, entrée, and dessert for you to consider:
1. Never email a high school Principal, who is also an English teacher, without checking the grammar and spelling in said email. In case no one ever told you, these errors sincerely diminish your validity. #2Timothy2:15 #Study
2. Never send a formal email of rebuke without first “fact checking’ your claims. That’s something else your English teacher should have taught you. For example, who told you that no one knew who the father is? Where were you when he couldn’t stand under the grief on Sunday at the candlelight vigil? How surprised would you be to learn that both the paternal and maternal grandparents have been actively involved in this child’s life since he arrived? #Proverbs6:16-19 #Abominable
3. Stereotyping, as a persuasive device, is an ineffective use of propaganda that allows the person using the device to draw lines around groups of ‘good’ and ‘bad’ people. When you talk about people from the 3rd person point-of-view (‘the attitude and culture of the inner city youth needs…”), you turn those people into objects, which can then strip them of human rights. Side note: I had my first college degree and had been married for some years before I had my daughter, and, even I went out every now and then – without my child. How is it that you know that my student was an irresponsible parent, again?#Deuteronomy10:18 #GodDefends
4. Just in case you didn’t know, having a baby is NOT the sin. Pre-marital sex, if we’re counting, is the actual sin. God loves babies. In fact, whenever there is a problem in the world, HE sends a baby with the answer (i.e. Jesus). Because my student was such a great person, maybe God decided to use her as a conduit between her son and the world to provide an answer. That would help make sense (especially for me) of all of this foolishness. Side note: Pre-marital sex may not be YOUR sin, but it only takes one sin to send you to hell, and God never said that sin was only pre-marital sex, and HE loves babies.#Jeremiah1:5 #Psalm8:2 #PurposeInPain
5. You have NO idea how hard my student was working to overcome every single obstacle in her life. She worked a job every day, she kept her OWN baby (we had to ask her if we could keep him), she played on the basketball team, she did well in all of her Honor’s classes, she kept up with her younger siblings and made them come to school, and, most importantly, she NEVER missed one day of school. There are other issues that she had to deal with that I refuse to share, but just know that I know a whole slew of adults who would be in an insane asylum if they had to live with one tenth of her issues. #Matthew12:36,37#EveryWord
6. This baby has only lived one year. He will NEVER know his mother. He will only have what we have shared, the videos that have been recorded, and what people have written to begin to understand the love she had for him. We WILL add this to his treasure chest of memories. #Matthew25:40 #WeLoveKylan
7. Because SEVEN is the number of completion, and symbolically the number of days my student had left to walk across the stage when her life was AGGRESSIVELY snatched away from her, my last point is: Stay. In. Your. Lane. This sweet baby meant too much to me for me to remain professional if I receive any more emails from judgmental folk who sit in the air looking “down” on folk they don’t deserve to sit next to. #Matthew1:7#AlishaKiner #NotInTheMood