In my first book, Guardian of the Republic: An American Ronin’s Journey to Family, Faith, and Freedom, I wrote about the biggest beat down I ever got from my dad, as a kid. It was when, down visiting his hometown of Cuthbert, Randolph County, Georgia, that I did not speak to the ol’ folks sitting on the front porches as I walked back to Granddad’s house. I was raised to respect everyone I met, especially adults, and those in positions of authority. To this day, my immediate response to someone is “Sir” or “Ma’am.” That was the old school way kids were raised, and it made a difference because they were taught respect.
Boy howdy, have times changed! Y’all know I was just in North Carolina, in Rocky Mount. While I was there, students — hoodlums and thugs — tore down a Confederate soldier statue on the campus of the University of North Carolina. Hmm, perhaps their moms and dads did not teach them about the basics of respect, saying “Sir” and “Ma’am.” Heck, I remember when former California Senator Barbara Boxer went apoplectic when a General referred to her as “Ma’am.” She went nuts, chastising the General for not addressing her as “Senator,” stating that she had earned that title. Yep, I suppose so, as she obviously had not earned the level of respect to be called “Ma’am.”
Well, some parents in Tarboro North Carolina did the right thing with their son, but they failed to realize that the culture has changed. As reported by ABC-13:
“Parents of a fifth grader are concerned after their child was punished for referring to his teacher as “ma’am.” Teretha Wilson said she noticed something was wrong Tuesday when her 10-year old son Tamarion got off the school bus from North East Carolina Preparatory School. “I asked him what happened. He said he got in trouble for saying ‘yes ma’am’,” explained Wilson. Confused by his response, Tamarion pulled out a sheet of paper with the word “ma’am” written on it four times per line on both sides. He says his teacher told him to write the word on the sheet because he kept referring to her as “ma’am” despite her instruction not to. As part of his punishment, Tamarion had to have the paper signed by a parent. “He had a look on his face of disappointment, shame,” said his father McArthur Bryant. Wilson and Bryant said their children were taught to refer to elders as “ma’am” and “sir,” and that Tamarion was not intending to be disrespectful. “At the end of the day as a father, to feel kind of responsible for that . . . knowing that I have been raising him and doing the best that I can, it’s not acceptable,” said Bryant. During the encounter, Wilson said the teacher also told Tamarion that “if she had something, she would have thrown it at him.” “It wasn’t right. It wasn’t professional. As a teacher, it wasn’t appropriate. And I asked her why she thought it was okay to do that,” said Wilson. When Wilson returned the signed punishment sheet, she also included a second sheet, which included Tamarion writing the definition of the word “ma’am.”
I do not know where to begin with this. Two parents do the right thing with their child, only to have our culture counter the values of respect they instilled. This is why I often state, the most important elected position in America is school board. Our schools have become indoctrination centers, not centers of education, and the results are evident. Someone failed to instill respect and values in that teacher. Who the heck has ever heard of a kid being punished for referring to a teacher with the respectful moniker of “Ma’am?” I mean, when this happens, we grow a generation of chuckleheads like a Barbara Boxer, or the disrespectful hooligans at University of North Carolina. Young Tamarion needs to know that he did nothing wrong, and that the one deserving punishment is this idiot teacher. So often we want our kids to do well, and be respectful little boys and girls. How so very strange that when that happened, this fella got punished.
I taught high school for a year down in South Florida, and it would have been a blessing to have the students address teachers as “Sir” or “Ma’am.” Perhaps the real lesson learned from this episode is that the teacher did not possess any self-respect. Greater still, little Tamarion was raised to give it.
I render a hearty Steadfast and Loyal to young Tamarion Wilson of Tarboro, North Carolina. Well done young man! Even when faced with an unwarranted punishment, you continued to show respect, and do as instructed. Your future is bright indeed and we honor you!
During his 22 year career in the United States Army, Lieutenant Colonel West served in several combat zones and received many honors including a Bronze Star, three Meritorious Service Medals, three Army Commendation Medals, one with Valor device, and a Valorous Unit Award.
In November of 2010, Allen was elected to the United States Congress, representing Florida’s 22nd District.
He is a Fox News Contributor, Director of the Booker T. Washington Initiative at the Texas Public Policy Foundation, Senior Fellow at the Media Research Center, contributing columnist for Townhall.com, and author of Guardian of the Republic: An American Ronin’s Journey to Family, Faith and Freedom. His forthcoming book, Hold Texas, Hold the Nation: Victory or Death, is due fall 2018 from Brown Books Publishing Group.