Our kids need balance to face what lies ahead

Shatona Kilgore-Groves
Shatona Kilgore-Groves

The MSR welcomes Shatona Kilgore-Groves to our partner-advisors for “Message to Parents.” As a parent coach and advocate with The Black Parent Group, she says, “My goal is to reach the parent who is considered unreachable by celebrating their successes and also asking them to join forces with me in changing the course of their children’s education. Parents need to hear from someone who has successfully navigated through the special education system, and that is me! I have had challenges, but I can share my stories to encourage them not to give up. I look forward to sharing outcomes and personal experiences.”

The story below is Shatona’s first contribution.


Just until a few days ago, Don Samuels was a name that you didn’t mention among North High supporters. Why? He was quoted as having stating that North High should be burned down, but not many knew the context of that statement.

While my husband and I were attending the community and family banquet in celebration of the North High basketball team’s state tournament win, Don Samuels went up to the podium and publicly apologized for his statement and received a standing ovation. When KMSP came late to televise the event, they missed a historic moment.

Samuels humbly asked for everyone’s forgiveness. He mentioned that he was never against North High School, but what he was against is the low graduation rates for Black males.

Parents, it is not just important for our children to be good in sports, and I know that we all know this. It is important that they have a life ahead of them.

I am not different from you. When my son is playing ball and the crowd is cheering for him, there is a sense of pride that cannot be explained. However, if his grades did not match those efforts out on the court, I could not be as happy as I am as when his grades are also good and his coach calls him a scholar.

There has to be balance, and we want our children to be able to manage their lives after they get the sports contracts.

This is why I can appreciate the North High state-champion-winning Coach Larry McKenzie, because he teaches them character, scholarship and sportsmanship.

Join with me in ensuring that your child has all the above. If you’re not sure how to do that please send me an email and we will work on it together.

Thank you to Don Samuels for being a great leader and standing up for our young Black males. And thank you to Larry McKenzie for doing the same.

As a community, we must stop shooting the messenger and we must kill the disparities with our actions.


Shatona Kilgore-Groves is a parent coach and advocate with The Black Parent Group. She welcomes reader responses to info@theblackparentgroup.org.