Why I Stand

Parent & Family Engagement | 11/02/2016

LaToya Tahirou
IPS parent & Stand Indiana member

LaToya Tahirou is the mom of three IPS students, a Stand Indiana member and advocate for IPS school quality.

My name is LaToya Tahirou and I'm an IPS parent.

All three of my children attend IPS #103 – Phalen Leadership Academy. I have been affiliated with Stand for Children Indiana for approximately six months. I'd like to address people who’ve said online that parents are compensated for their involvement with Stand for Children Indiana. 

I speak at school board meetings, canvass my neighborhood to build awareness, attend IPS meetings and endorse school board candidates because I am now aware of the tragedy that is the struggling public educational system.

Previously, I never knew exactly how bad things were at certain schools. I am invested and passionate about doing my part to push for positive change in my community. Every child deserves a quality first-class education. Without it, they are doomed to become statistics, possibly the next generation of welfare recipients and prison inmates. While attending a Stand for Children Indiana meeting, I was made aware of the terrible academic condition of John Marshall Community Middle & High School. The stats were overwhelming. 

From there, I attended a district meeting at my children's school to discuss possibilities for the school’s future. Dr. Ferebee, reporters and a few teachers were there, but I was the only parent from the school of a few hundred students.

When they began to speak about the school’s history of failing grades and violent incidents, I sat there in that meeting literally crying. I was thinking to myself, where are all the other parents? Why have things been this way so long? How do we change this?

The stats they were citing were about children – our children! Children, who without quality education, may certainly have a gloomy future of pain and poverty. It is a very sad thing that we don't have more parent involvement. I plan to do my best to change that.

 I am involved because I care about what is going on in our public school system. While I see great things taking place within IPS, there is still work that needs to take place to push for positive, effective change. It is very disrespectful and disheartening for people to think that parents can't be fed up with a failing school system, speak up and act out for those reasons alone.

Stand for Children Indiana has never paid me or coerced me to do anything. I do what I do because I care about our children’s future. Period.

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LaToya Tahirou, an IPS mom and Stand Indiana member, shares why she's become a vocal advocate for quality schools for all Indianapolis children.