The First Bell series is a growing collection of stories from students, parents, and educators about pivotal experiences in education. To tell your story, email firstname.lastname@example.org "My First Bell" in the subject line or tweet with the hashtag #MyFirstBell.
Eric Reed was the first black quarterback at his elementary, middle, and high school when the Baton Rouge public schools were being integrated.
Epithets were used against him more than once.
Reed’s junior year at predominantly white Istrouma High School, 1974, was a turning point. The night after a race riot at the school, the football team played the last game of the regular season against all-black McKinley.
“Anytime Istrouma played McKinley, I happened to be the target of a lot of trash talk, because I’m the one who didn’t go to McKinley or Capitol, I chose to go to Istrouma, so I was -- the term they used back then -- the ‘oreo’, you know, I sold out.”
Both teams needed the win to get to the playoffs, but Reed says he didn’t have the usual fire in his belly. Istrouma lost 7 to 6.
CATS CEO Bob Mirabito joins Jim to discuss the efforts he's made to revamp the public bus system in Baton Rouge. He discusses the improvements made to bus stops around the city, the rigorous pre-qualifications for new bus drivers, and what it is he envisions Baton Rouge's public bus system becoming in the future.
Author Trent Angers talks with Jim about his new book The Forgotten Hero of My Lai: The Hugh Thompson Story, which traces the life of U.S. Army helicopter pilot Hugh Thompson, who tried to stop the infamous My Lai Massacre during the Vietnam War.
Also, Metro Councilman John Delgado joins Jim in the studio to talk about the proposed city of St. George, the controversial anti-sodomy law, and much, much more.
Kevin Kane, founder and president of the Pelican Institute for Public Policy, discusses his institute's push for the reduction of drug possession sentencing - chiefly marijuana possession.
Libertarian attorney Michael Wolf is back in the studio on Good Friday and he does not shy away from discussing religion. He touches on what it's like being a Buddhist and whether or not it's constitutional for public employees to have a holiday on Good Friday. He also discusses the recently proposed sodomy laws, Vance McAllister's recent scandal, scientific creationism, and much, much more.
Also, novelist Ayelet Waldman joins Jim to discuss her new novel Love and Treasure which weaves a tale around the fascinating, true history of the Hungarian Gold Train during World War II.
At the halfway mark in the state legislative session, all of the state departments have presented their piece of the state budget and the House Appropriations Committee invited the public to weigh in this week. Next it will be the committee’s turn at making changes to what the Jindal administration proposed. And new analysis of the 2014-2015 proposal shows a patchwork of funding that could leave the state could with a really big hole to fill for 2015-2016.
These students from Ruston and Central high schools aren’t just bellyaching about their school lunches, they’re testifying before Louisiana’s Senate Agriculture Committee. They’re hoping to advance a resolution they initiated.
A bill that would take students attending “C” rated public schools out of eligibility for the voucher program failed to get out of the House Education Committee Wednesday.
“Either ‘C’ schools are failing schools, or they’re not,” stated Amite Representative John Bel Edwards, explaining the proposed program change as simple logic. “This program was premised upon giving choices to parents whose kids were trapped in failing schools. A ‘C’ school is not a failing school. It’s just that simple.”
Retired USAF Colonel Rob Maness talks about his bid for a seat in the U.S. Senate, and his platform in which he is running. Publisher of the Ouachita Citizen, Sam A. Hanna Jr. joins the show to discuss how his small newspaper uncovered and published a now nationwide story based on a video showing U.S. Representative Vance McAllister (who campaigned for office last fall as a devout Christian, family man and devoted husband) kissing and embracing a member of his congressional staff. Also, environmentalist Doug Daigle joins Jim in the studio to discuss his twenty-plus years working toward improving Louisiana's environment, as well as his involvement in the Land and Water Conservation Fund.
*Note: Due to a recording error, this episode of The Jim Engster Show begins three minutes into the show.
State Representative Joe Harrison of Houma wants the people to decide whether to elect the next state superintendent of education, or let the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education keep making that appointment. Harrison is the author of that constitutional amendment, now headed to the House floor.
Actress Pam Grier speaks on the HIV/AIDS epidemic and how citizens can contribute to the cause through awareness and prevention.
HIV/AIDS Alliance Representative Timothy Young touches on HIV/AIDS in the Baton Rouge community. HAART's Dining Out for Life fundraiser will be held on April 24. For more information, visit diningoutforlife.com.
Blogger and former comic Tom Aswell speaks on the scandal swirling around Congressman Vance McAllister and other political issues.
The Rotary of Baton Rouge member Chris Ciesielski speaks with the honoree Morgan Gautreau and her efforts to bring Spina Bifida awareness to her community.