MEMPHIS, TN (abc24.com) - There are some places in this world where juvenile justice systems are little more than places to train kids to be better thugs. Willie Herenton doesn’t think that’s true in Memphis, and he never wants it to be even close to being true. He wants to take children who’ve been in the juvenile court system and educate them at his Thurgood Marshall Charter School.
“We will have excellent principals,” the former Memphis Mayor said. “We will have excellent school leaders and others working. But my hands will also be all over this program in terms of day monitoring and supervision.”
Memphis City Schools Superintendent Dr. Kriner Cash loves the idea. Cash is in his final days in Memphis, and says he has loved being the boss of an urban school system. “We need and know that our young people, even though they have challenges, are some of the strongest folks we’ve seen,” he said. “I’m amazed, sometimes; some kids make it to school in the morning with what they just encountered.”
Real life in Memphis fits the Herenton charter school plan. He wants the kids who need the help and not cherry pick just the best students for his schools. “A charter school is a public school,” says Herenton, a former superintendent of Memphis City Schools. “A charter school is not a private school. We want to take the ones that need the help.”
If Dr. Cash has his way, the Thurgood Marshall Charter School will be located as a separate run facility at Northside High School in North Memphis. It might be the scoop of ice cream to put on his apple pie of a career in Memphis, because while he doesn’t want to brag, Dr. Cash says he’s been a great superintendent. “Humbly again I say I don’t think there’s anybody at work in the country that’s been doing what I’ve been done in just four years.”
Herenton hopes to have the Thurgood Marshall School up and running by August of 2013.