I Hate Canton got behind again yesterday. We initially thought we'd just skip Monday's award due to lateness. Then we discovered Anita Robinson-Muhammad's fight for the fundamental right of her daughter Shahkila Daniels to be McKinley High School's "featured twirler," a job she has held for the last three years.
Shahkila found herself out a job for the 2110 season when she turned down the position of "co-twirler," that is, to share the "job" with another girl. (At least that's what it sounds like. According to Robinson-Muhammad, though, words don't mean what they say.) Mother and daughter argue that Daniels misunderstood the job title, was pressured by the judges to make a quick decision, and wants to change her mind and keep her job as "featured twirler." Robinson-Muhammad told the Board of Education that Daniels' twirling skill is one of the reasons her daughter is being pursued by two colleges. Moreover, Shahkila was stressed from the audition and the pressure to maintain her feature position: "being a featured twirler at McK. has been a big part of her HS success and something she has prepared for most of her childhood. "
Since Ms Daniels is senior class president, a member of the National Honor Society, and has been cited by the Canton Professional Educators Association for her community involvement, it appears that she's preparing for a lot more than a career marching down a football field in a skimpy outfit.
Whatever, Ms Robinson-Muhammad and Ms Daniels are dead serious about this grave miscarriage of justice and have taken their their fight to the people. (As of this posting 61 comments have been posted and definite sides taken).
Posting under the handle arm721, both have presented their arguments in great detail (paragraph optional). Hence, we know more about the politics and arcana of baton twirling then we ever cared to know.
Ms. Daniels informs us in CAPS that she intends to "dot the i" in Script Ohio:
arm721 (Shahkila Daniels)
Canton Board of Education
ACTUALLY YES I DO WANT TO DOT THE 'I' THANK YOU BUT UMMMM IM GOING TO BE A SENIOR AND THE SENIOR DOTS THE 'I' ANYWAYS...DUH!!!!!! LOL. BUT THANK YOU ALL FOR YOUR COMMENTS I AM TRULY AMUSED AT HOW SUPPOSEDLY MATURE ADULTS CAN BASH ON A CHILD AND I THANK ALL OF MY SUPPORTERS! I WILL CONTINUE TO REPRESENT MCKINLEY HIGH SCHOOL IN A POSITIVE MANNER WITH MY NOW 4.7 GPA AND ON THE LINE IF I HAVE TO!! I REFUSE TO LET ANYONE GET THE BEST OF ME AND THINK THAT THEY HAVE WON, AND I WILL CONTINUE TO DO WHAT I LOVE MOST NOT WHAT MY MOM LOVES TO WATCH ME DO..... TWIRL!!!!! :)
Ms Robinson-Muhammad takes reporter Melissa Griffy Seeton and the rest of us baton illiterate clucks to task for our failure to familiarize ourselves with the lexicography of twirling:
I would first like to enlighten all of you who are questioning my child's intellect. The term co-feature was used incorrectly by someone who does not know anything about baton twirling when in fact what they were talking about was actually 2 features. That is where the discrepancy comes in. Co means to twirl together doing the same routine in the same uniform. 2 means both doing their own thing. I hope that clears things up for those who think you know what you are talking about. And for reasons that are none of your business, the others involved are very aware of why this was upsetting to Shahkila.
Oh, did we mention that Ms. Robinson-Muhammad is the McKinley "twirler adviser" but has no "conflict of interest:"
As far a my being the majorette advisor and there being a real conflict of interest. Who's interest are we talking about. There has only been 1 group of people who have had a problem with me being the advisor. And I don't have to state who they are.... I became the advisor because they were left with no advisor. I volunteered my time and did such a good job that I was offered the position. Since that time I have put in numerous hours trying to improve the majorettes. Time that no advisor (except for mine) in the past has ever invested. I do it because I care and not for the easy money as some of them in the past has stated. During the time that I practiced with the majorettes my daughter got zero minutes of my time. ..
...The conflict of interest statement really cracks me up lol. Was it a conflict of interest when the Daniels boys were being coached by their father... Dont think so. Is it a conflict of interest for the the now asst. football coach to be coaching his son.... And by the way he came in and got a starting position as an underclassman removing students who had been at the school for the past three years. Is that a conflict of interest. None of these coaches was told what they could and could not do as coaches. Nor did they have their duties taken away from them because a parent complained. (coaches this is not a punt intended toward you, but probably the best example that relates so please don't take it persona I appreciate you guys) So why is my being the majorette advisor a CONFLICT OF INTEREST? The fact of the matter is this... the band director had every intention on having two feature twirlers (not co-features) and that is how it should of been presented in the first place....
We could go on, but won't. You get the idea.
I Hate Canton suspects that much more is going on here, but we agree with the usually unagreeable dssteelman1:
here is good news in all of this turmoil.
If this is all anyone has to worry about, then by all means , good times have once again returned to the area.
How about a nice quick answer.
1 Who cares
2 Sharing was always taught to me to be a virtue you WANT to have. Not something to eschew. ( Um, look up that last word, its more complicated than ....share.
3 Most importantly ... WHO CARES
I Hate Canton is the first to admit that baton twirlers irritate us. Not that good twirling doesn't take a lot talent, skill, and energy, but in the immoral words of dsteel1: who cares? (We feel the same way about hacky sack and frisbee).
From the first grade on, everybody is plagued by the twirler and her ubiquitous baton: school, Brownies, Sunday School, the grocery store, McDonald's. Constant reminders that her superior self and her instrument of torture are co-dependent and do not function one without the other. Twirlers usually tap dance, too--another story for another time. We knew a kindly Canton grandmother who was once subjected to a 5+hour baton recital that lasted almost to midnight just to see her 8-year old granddaughter perform in the last set. Who needs waterboarding when you have baton recitals?
When this newspaper drama began to unfold I Hate Canton assumed that this was a simple matter of stage mothering. It now appears that Shahkila has the lead in her mother's production. With that in mind I Hate Canton hereby awards Anita Robinson- Muhammad and unfortunately, Shahkila Daniels, the Monday, June 15, 2009 Village Idiot Award.
From what we have seen elsewhere of Ms. Daniels we like her, and we are not without sympathy. High school sucks. We wish Ms. Daniels the best. If this is the worse thing ever to happen to her, she'll lead a happy, productive life.
We also commiserate with Melissa Griffy Seeton for being stuck with reporting the school board meeting. Unfortunately, somebody's gotta do it. She should consider pitching the story to Lifetime.