It Starts with the Kids – a Tribute to Philando Castile

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This is not a DIY or a recipe or a party tip post.  It is me, raw me.  I feel the need to share my heart and so to my blog I go.

All Lives Matter

The killings of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile (and so many others) followed by the attack on Dallas police is a screaming OUT LOUD wake up call to every single one of us in this country.  It is time for every one of us to speak up, to take action and to do something.  Each of us, EVEN YOU, play a part in these heartbreaking attacks.

The loss of Philando Castile is such a horrific manner goes deep in my heart for his family and his community.  I taught in McDougald Terrace (housing project) in Durham, NC.  I took away a LOADED handgun from a 6 year old at show-and-tell.  This child was in fear for his life to go home without it.  I mean he was IN FEAR FOR HIS LITTLE LIFE that he would be killed if he didn’t return it to where he found it.  He was so filled with hatred towards our school officer who I gave it to and who talked to him about it.  The words and phrases he screamed at this officer were horrifying.  It had already begun for him.  Age 6.  He didn’t trust the police to keep him safe.  He needed that loaded gun back to stay alive.  I had many occurances like this with my students.  I learned more in those years from those kids about what our country is really dealing with than I could have ever imagined.  And so, I loved them harder and worked harder and did my best to have them know that THEIR LIVES MATTER!  Men like Philando Castile who work in schools and love kids make a monumental difference as role models .  To lose one in our country (especially like this) is simply NOT OKAY.

I have black relatives.  I do.  My cousins married black people who we all love and they have black kiddos.  I have black friends with children and white friends with mixed babies.  I pray for them, all of them.  I pray that they come to not only be safe in our country but to feel safe in their hearts.  As I read their posts this week on Facebook and watch their videos, I feel their fear.  I hear their words and my heart hurts for them so much.  It is not fair.  No parent in this country should feel this fear for the lives of their babies at the hands of public servants.


The biggest question in my mind right now is what can I do?  Me?  How can I make a difference?  You!  How can you  be a part of change.  This is what keeps flooding my mind.  Start with the kids.  Love them harder.  Teach them respect.  Give them a better chance.  Put our money into the classrooms and give them ALL their best shots.  Get the kids in the worst parts of towns into MORE school with more love and guidance.  Teach them to create a different country.  It starts at the beginning.  It starts with kids.  I think Philando Castile knew this.  I think his legacy will live on.

So go.  Go now.  Be a BEAUTIFUL PERSON!


Get out there and do something.  Say something.  Be a somebody who cares, gives and loves.  If you don’t have any idea where to start…here are some ideas:

  • Take food to a food bank.
  • Donate school supplies to your closest school (in need).
  • Pay it forward and buy a stranger some coffee.
  • Call someone you know needs extra love and give it.  Freely.
  • Support your children in being friends with ALL children.  the ones that you most disapprove of, need you the most.
  • Drop your ego and forgive someone in your life for a silly thing you are holding on to.

Feel free to comments and add some more ideas.  Together, we can be a shift in the change.

#prayersforhumanity ,


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7 thoughts on “It Starts with the Kids – a Tribute to Philando Castile”

  1. Often people ask why I left an affluent school for one with 76% of students receiving free and reduced meals. I know that more loving teachers are needed in these schools. I set expectations to be the same as what I want for my own children. I share my story and let students know that regardless of where they are, they can expect better. I showed them that they deserve better. I made them realize that people do care, truly care about them beyond the hours of the school day. They learned about my family. I learned about theirs. We laughed and cried together. I share all that I can with them. They understand that I believe in them, even when they don’t believe in themselves. I am told frequently that I treat all my students the same regardless of race, gender, or religion. That’s puzzled me for years… how else am I supposed to treat them. Each of these children is someone’s child. I want each of them to know that they will always have a piece of my heart. I want the same things for them that I want for my own children.
    Hug those kiddos. Fist bump. High five. Celebrate each day that we are blessed to have them in our lives. I pray that this love and respect continues and builds stronger communities and leaders.

  2. This is why you are amazing. This is why your 2 children will also grow up to be amazing human beings. I love you Melissa!!!

  3. Yep this is so true! I wish it was a brighter world to live in but it isn’t. Does it really matter what race you are? If only everyone in the world could just be friends,the world would be a better place for our kids to grow up in.

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