Five Questions:

Teacher learned values as child
By Nicole King –


Coach JacksonPalo Duro assistant football and basketball coach Michael Jackson was the featured speaker at the 8th Annual Amarillo NAACP Martin Luther King Jr. celebration. Jackson has been married to his wife, Idella, for 12 years. The couple has three children. Jackson, 35, is also a history teacher.


Q: You weren’t alive when King was. What were you told of King growing up?


A: My mother, who will be 84, and my aunt told me a lot of things. Myself, I like history a lot, and I had a history teacher when I was in school that was African- American. Also, I’ve learned from the older educators around here. If you can read, you can learn.


Q: What do you think King would think of today’s society?


A: I think he’d disagree with a lot of stuff. When he died, we were in the Vietnam conflict. I don’t think he’d agree with the conflict we’re in right now. I don’t think he’d agree with the education system now. I don’t think he’d agree with segregation the way it is. I don’t think the community, in general, is as close as it used to be. Some of the discipline things, I think he would say we could do a better job of. The economic side of it, I think he would say that we could do a better job.


Q: As a teacher, do you see yourself as a role model for students?


A: I’m a role model. The kids have it easier than when I was growing up. The kids today, they want things easier and they get in trouble. I wanted things and I kept working. There are some kids who really work hard and keep working. It’s a different world today.


Q: How is it different today than when you were a kid?


A: I guess I was different. I feared my mom, and I didn’t want to do anything that I had to tell my parents about. Kids are different today.


Q: What do you see as issues facing today’s black community?


A: Issues that affect everybody. Parenting, no father-figure there, teen pregnancy. Education-wise, getting back to basics. Tell (students) that they can achieve some things with education.

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A.I.S.D., North Amarillo Now Voices