Protect and Defend

Welcome to my blog, Protect and Defend. You don’t have to understand me. You only have to agree with me. I can live with losing the good fight, but I can not live with not fighting that good fight at all. - Publius

Saturday, April 15, 2006

A story from the Washington Post

This article comes from the Style section of today’s Washington post, but rather than make you sit through the whole article, I will instead go over the highlights by paraphrasing. “Thirty-seven Texas eighth-graders (traveled to Washington DC for a sightseeing tour led by their) history teacher Armando Barrera…and three other history teachers…The students from Roma Middle School…will enter a high school that’s doesn’t even bother doing college counseling…Roma, Tex, their home, is a town of 9,000 on the banks of the Rio Grande…Once it was a prosperous herding village; today the commodity driving the economy is illegal drugs. When the Mexican-American War ended in 1848…Half the city became Roma, Tex; the other half became Miguel Aleman, in Tamaulipas, Mexico. But its identity has remained Mexican – today the population is 98.5 percent Hispanic…According to their teachers, many of the students arrive in middle school with only the vague understanding that Texas and Tamaulipas are different states, let alone in different countries…Roma, nearly six hours south of San Antonio, remains one of the poorest places in America. Its per capita is around $7,000, less than a fifth of the national average…fewer than half of its high school freshman go on to graduate…Barrera says…”It’s a vicious cycle…Kids dropping out. Getting married too young. We have an eighty grader who has two kids already. And her mom graduated high school with me in 1990. Some eighth-graders are reading at a third-grade level. There’s no need to learn English – nobody reads for pleasure”…His town and its sister city in Mexico, Miguel Aleman are overrun with drugs. In October 2005, three local policemen there were arrested for drug smuggling. Everybody knows about Los Zetas, the paramilitary drug gang; nobody talks about it, for fear of being kidnapped or murdered…In a world with few options, the drug trade is almost too tempting to resist…someone can get paid $5,000 to drive (a truck filled with drugs)…from Roma to Corpus Christi or San Antonio. Maybe $15,000 for getting it across the border from Mexico…The kids from Roma don’t ask what to do about the porous border, where the…instructors first were shocked and then grew used to seeing people swimming across the river” (Washington Post, April 15, 2006).

A lot of things in that article to discuss, but I figure I will leave that all up to you all.

2 Comments:

Blogger September said...

It would be interesting to see the outcome of the 37 eighth-graders. I would think a trip to Washington D.C. would have some effect on them and change the future of some of them. Even just one.
I didn't know that history about Roma and Miguel Aleman - that was quite interesting.

Mon Apr 17, 03:17:00 AM  
Blogger Publius said...

I have my doubts that a little vacation will seriously change the lives of any of these 37 kids. It would appear that drug running which these kids can do once the hit the age of 16 is too easy of an option and they therefore will choose it instead. I find it sad that we can’t shut down the border which would help prevent drug running from even being an option.
Interesting to the story is that they ask Barrera if he wants to raise his own children in Roma but he said he wasn’t sure because of the limited resources in the town.

Mon Apr 17, 05:00:00 PM  

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