In September of 2014, students at Vashon High School protested “academic deficiencies” in their school, demanding a better education at a place with many obstacles to learning.
Fast forward to this past month, when a motivational speaker went off on students at Vashon High for disrespecting him, not listening to teachers, and seemingly not caring all that much about that better education.
Eric Thomas, who went from being homeless to a Ph.D who earns six-figures per motivational speech, didn’t appreciate it when students ignored him or spoke over his words despite the fact that he was offering his valued advice for free.
“I’m here because I love you,” Thomas said, “But I’ll be darned if I come here for free and you disrespect me.”
Thomas, who is black, then angrily discussed that disrespect tends to only come from certain students.
“Do you know that if I go to a Jewish school, those kids are quiet. If I go to a white school, those kids are quiet. If I go to a Latino school, those kids are quiet. The only kids that disrespect me are black kids. That’s it, my own, are the only ones who disrespect me.”
Watch the video of Thomas’ speech below (things intensify at about the 3:30 mark) …
Via the Blaze:
Thomas added that he’s embarrassed when educators ask him why there are problems in urban schools because he knows students in them are barely trying.
“You didn’t give your best,” Thomas told the students. “They think you dumb — you ain’t dumb! You can’t take our people from Africa and put us in a diaspora and spread us all over the world. And we survived slavery — and we can’t pass a test? … And you’re gonna tell me we can’t learn how to write? Have you lost your mind? We are survivors. That’s all we do is survive.”
Then Thomas challenged the students in the crowd “to go in there and get that doggone piece of paper and that pencil and do your best. … I challenge you to go to class and act like you got some sense. Ain’t nobody gotta put you on medicine. You know how to sit down and shut up. You do it when you’re watching videos.”
Here is a video clip of students at Vashon High protesting for a better learning environment:
Seems a far departure from demanding a better education to not caring very much about somebody trying to lend advice about that education.
Comment: What did you think of this motivational speaker going off on disrespectful students? Did he go too far, or not far enough? Share your thoughts below.