A Very American Coup By Michael – Louis Ingram, Editor-in-Chief...
Lancaster High School Superintendent And Player Have “Extra Curricular” Mixed Up
SAN ANTONIO— As big as Texas high school football is these days, you still wonder how some individuals are allowed to be in leadership positions. Case in point: Brandon Jackson.
To make a long story short, Brandon is awaiting a trial for taking place in the brutal robberies of six individuals. Brandon was also an all-district wide receiver for North Mesquite High School last football season. So why isn’t Jackson playing for his old high school even though now he has been charged with a serious felony?
Because that high school and it’s school district have a set of morals and believe that in order to teach youngsters like Brandon who make egregious errors, they have banished him from the district. Yet here’s a twist in societal logic.
The Lancaster school district opened Brandon with open arms and so with an ankle bracelet on his leg, Jackson is out running fly patterns on the practice field and everyone else is wrong in the assessment of Jackson’s innocence in the matter. In the words of Lancaster’s superintendent, Mr. Larry Lewis: “Our job is to educate students and give them another chance. We’re doing what’s best for the kid.”
What’s best for the kid? Hmm. Let us all ponder this for a moment and we all take a gander at whether Jackson, or any kid who commits a felony, deserves to be playing football. First, you have to know what the facts are in the case so with the help of technology and the Dallas Morning News, here is what was reported in their Wednesday editions on what crime or crimes were committed by Mr. Jackson.
Here is a snippet of an article from the DMN: “According to a police report, Jackson, former North Mesquite teammate Travon Wilson and an unidentified male robbed three men at gunpoint Jan. 18 at the Pecan Knoll Apartments parking lot in Garland. Police said that a victim was shot at while running away and that Jackson admitted in writing to firing the gun”.
To be perfectly fair in this, you can read the whole article at DMN’s website (www.dallasnews.com/sharedcontent/dws/news/localnews/stories/081005dnspohslancaster.1266ac7f.html and you judge for yourself if whether so many others and myself are barking up the wrong tree.
I seriously doubt that I am for this simple reason: he committed a felony and his transfer was purely for athletic reasons. To get down to what my second part of my reason is all about, what Jackson and his family did was bounce from house to house to play ball in a school district where he would best shine.
For some outside of Texas, this bouncing around from relative to relative may be kind of new but it isn’t. As a matter of fact, it is ironic that the head of the Texas High School Coaches Association, D.W. Rutledge actually commented on this situation and the conduct of the coaches at Lancaster in lieu of so many complaints about his former Judson High School teams and their “illegal” recruitment that many have cited.
“There is nothing we could or would do to penalize the coach,” Rutledge said. “It either is or isn’t ethical. Your consequences are, you are not ethical.”
Rutledge’s tenure at the Converse, Texas high school has had its share of controversial moments on players moving from one district to the other simply to play on a state championship school. In the late 1980s it was rumored that Jerrod Douglas played at Judson because his family received special favors.
Allegedly Douglas’ mother worked for Judson and that is what allowed him to play for Rutledge. How true is that rumor, only those who know the real story can shed light on but this would not be the first time of some parents saying that Judson pillages from other school districts by taking their best talent.
Yet the Jackson story is so much bigger than any rumor at any other Texas school because Lancaster has a criminal practicing to play football for the school. Where are the ethical boundaries for Coach Andrew Jackson (no relation to Brandon Jackson) and Mr. Lewis on this matter?
How can they sit and justify giving Jackson another chance when it very evident that according to police reports, this young man was at the wrong place doing the wrong thing. You don’t go to jail, post $45,000 in bond money only to say, “Kids are kids”. Sometimes they make bad decisions. But you can’t throw away a kid’s life.”
If Coach Jackson truly believes his statement then I say let’s have a real life version of “The Longest Yard” and see how long he or his loved ones will take this stance. I am quite sure that I will not be the only one saying that just because young Mr. Jackson is a talented wide receiver means he gets a free pass at playing an extracurricular sport.
I’m sorry but alleged felons are not allowed to have the same rights the other student body members who did not play stick up kid in North Dallas.
For everything that has always been good about Texas football, what Coach Jackson and Mr. Lewis of Lancaster do is now make this a total mockery in the nation’s eyes. Am I possibly tainting Jackson’s chances at a fair trial? Maybe but you know what at this point I don’t care about his rights.
He knew being a part of that stick up caper was the wrong thing to do and he knew his former teammate was up to no good. If he had tried to walk away from it, I might have a little sympathy for him and argue that he deserves to be in class with the other students. Well that’s all out the window because not only do I not think he needs to be sitting in a classroom with other kids at Lancaster High, I don’t think he needs to be playing football either.
Would Coach Jackson allow Charles Manson to be his assistant coach on the team? Hell no, he wouldn’t so why is he trying to act like he is doing this kid a favor by giving him a break? Because both he and Mr. Lewis care about the wins; not about the individual.
I have no doubt that there are parents out there who think that Brandon Jackson is a good kid with good grades but at the same time, if their child was playing on the same team as Jackson, I seriously doubt that these parents would want their sons playing alongside of Jackson.
It’s not about liking or disliking him; it’s about teaching responsibility. What Coach Jackson, Superintendent Lewis and others are doing is enabling Brandon Jackson to psychologically believe that what he did was a bad thing but it won’t wreck his life.
The wrong message being sent to our young generation, gentlemen. Brandon Jackson needs to be either home schooled or he needs to be sitting in somebody detention center or alternative school because he committed a serious crime.
What he committed was a crime of “moral turpitude” and if Coach Jackson and Superintendent don’t understand the serious nature of this situation, then they need to be removed from the positions of educating the young minds in Lancaster High School and the school district.
This isn’t about Jackson going to college or even getting a good high school education. This needs to be about owning up to your fallacies and realizing that you do not deserve to be like the rest of your schoolmates. Brandon Jackson and his family need to stop enabling him and babying him by coddling him on this matter.
He can get an education and I want that to happen but he does not deserve to be in a football uniform. Football is a privilege and minute Brandon Jackson got caught up in that Jan. 18th caper, he lost all privileges extended to those who are at Lancaster High or anywhere else. North Mesquite had the decision right; Lancaster High is only feeding the Frankenstein monster more and more of society’s ills.