Forum Provides B.E.S.T. Academy Students With Tips on Police Interaction

Police Interaction Forum at B.E.S.T. AcademyBy: Alicia Sands Lurry

Nearly one dozen police officers, defense attorneys, and prosecutors from across the city of Atlanta joined forces on Sept. 15 to speak with students at B.E.S.T. Academy about police behavior and how to keep themselves safe when interacting with law enforcement.

Sponsored by 100 Black Men of Atlanta in partnership with Emerging 100, the Fourth Annual Police Interaction Forum was designed to provide insight and discuss useful steps for students to implement when interacting with police to have a positive outcome. During the forum, current issues in the media were discussed, students’ concerns were heard, and panelists shared useful strategies.

Topics included police-involved murders of Black men, verbal abuse by police officers, and what to do when stopped by a police officer. Panelists included Keith Lamar Jr., Fulton County deputy district attorney and director of Community Prosecution; Ian Elmore-Moore, Fulton County community resource program specialist; Tyrone Dennis, investigator with the Atlanta Police Department; Atteeyah Hollie, staff attorney, Southern Center for Human Rights; and Brain Gaither, Fulton County assistant solicitor general.

“Let the window down, lay your hands on the window, and wait for police to acknowledge what you are doing,” one panelist told the group of about 50 students.

Another panelist told students they can often help de-escalate situations by relaxing and maintaining their composure.

“Be cool about it,” said Gaither, who told students. “Don’t be out of control. Be respectful and civil. And how do you escape? Make sure you survive the situation. You can do something about it later.”

In addition to discussing topics such as video recording, body cameras and Miranda Rights, panelists like Tyrone Dennis urged students to make a difference in their communities by becoming police officers.

“If we want better policing and police who understand us, we need to be police,” Dennis said. “Black officers are needed who have a better understanding of the community. It’s a way to bridge the gap.”

Assistant Principal Robert Williams said the forum will have a lasting impact on students.

“This is eye-opening for these kids because they’re able to get practical strategies and tools to have positive interactions with police officers,” Williams said. “They will always be able to refer to the advice they received.”

B.E.S.T. senior GS3 Harris said the forum helped him develop a different perspective on dealing with police officers.

“I learned that cops are trying to do their job, so it’s up to me to cooperate and be compliant,” GS3 said. “You don’t want to be the one in the wrong, so you have to be respectful. Not all cops are the same.”





Carver Senior Quindarious Monday Receives His Under Armour High School All-American Game Jersey

Quindarious Monday (Carver) w parents, Muhammad and Myles
Carver senior Quindarious Monday, joined by (l-r) his parents, Felton Monday and Tamika Hale, his principal, Yusef Muhammad, and his coach, Darren Myles, received his honorary game jersey for the Under Armour High School All-American Game, presented by American Family Insurance.

Carver High School senior Quindarious Monday fulfilled one of his dreams on Thursday, when he officially became an all-American football player.

In front of a jam-packed auditorium filled with his senior classmates, football teammates and family members, Quindarious received his replica game jersey for the Under Armour High School All-American Game, presented by American Family Insurance.Quindarious Monday (Carver) w Muhammad and Myles

Quindarious is one of just 12 student athletes from the state of Georgia selected to participate in the annual event, which is touted as one of the most prominent national high school all-star games in the country. The game is scheduled for Jan. 4, 2018, at the Citrus Bowl in Orlando, and will be televised by ESPN.

Quindarious was selected as Carver’s team captain this season, and has helped lead Carver to a 3-1 record. He received more than 30 scholarship offers before committing to Auburn University in July.

Watch a video chronicling Quindarious’ accomplishment.

NOTE:  You can help Quindarious and Carver win a social media contest being sponsored by the Under Armour High School All-American Game, presented by American Family Insurance. Go to Instagram and “like” Quindarious’ “Dream Photo”. The school of the Under Armour High School All-America Game participant whose photo receives the most “likes” will be honored for its outstanding school spirit, and will be featured during the broadcast of the game and on the social media pages of American Family Insurance.

Young Middle School Students Learn About the Blues

Blues in the Schools at JCYMS (1)
Students at Young Middle School listen to a blues band led by Carlos Capote (dressed in all black) during a visit from the Atlanta Blues Society’s “Blues in the Schools” program, Wednesday.

About 200 students at Jean Childs Young Middle School received an unexpected but interesting history lesson on Wednesday, through the use of music.

The Atlanta Blues Society’s “Blues in the Schools” program paid a visit to the southwest Atlanta school, and provided students with some historical perspective on how blues music influences many of today’s popular artists in R&B and hip hop.

“If you ask an artist today who he or she was influenced by, and then ask that artist who influenced them, and follow that trail back 100 years, eventually you will end up in the Mississippi Delta where the blues was born,” said Rich L’Hommedieu, a musician and Atlanta Blues Society member.

Blues in the Schools at JCYMS (2)

For example, many students said their favorite artist today is rapper Kodak Black. He says he was influenced by, among many others, Notorious B.I.G., who lists Public Enemy as an influence on him. Public Enemy has said jazz trumpeter Miles Davis influenced them, while Davis said he was influenced by Louis Armstrong, who said Jelly Roll Morton – credited with creating the jazz blues genre – influenced him.

“We thought the kids deserve to be cultured in different aspects of music, especially one that is a piece of their heritage,” said Abraham Anthony, music coordinator at Young Middle. “[Blues in the Schools] contacted us at the beginning of the school year, and when we looked into what they offer, we thought this would be a great way to introduce our students to a historical genre of music that is different from what they normally listen to.”

And the students appeared to enjoy both the history lesson and the music, as they clapped and nodded their heads to a few songs performed live on stage by a band led by singer and harmonica player Carlos Capote.

When one student asked him if the band would record a ring tone for him to use, Capote said, “We would be glad to. And if you record a ringtone to one of our songs, I’ll call you every day!”

NOTE: The “Blues in the Schools” visit to Young Middle will be featured on an upcoming segment on WSB-TV.

Atlanta Falcons Bring “Hometown Huddle,” “Play 60” Events to APS

Falcons and Dr. C at Toomer ES

The Atlanta Falcons took care of business on the field Sunday night against the Green Bay Packers. Tuesday morning they showed how much they care about the community, as several players – including quarterback Matt Ryan and running back Devonta Freeman – visited three Atlanta Public Schools as part of the team’s Hometown Huddle program.

At Humphries Elementary School, Freeman, running back Tevin Coleman, safety Ricardo Allen, receiver Taylor Gabriel and long snapper Josh Harris surprised several teachers with gift bags, to show their appreciation for the important role educators play in society.

“What they do is so important, and sometimes teachers get overlooked,” Freeman said. “We just want to show them that we appreciate them and what they do means so much.”

The faces of the teachers at Humphries, and their students, lit up as the Falcon players – fresh off of a decisive 34-23 win over Green Bay – paid them a surprise visit.

“All of them were shocked,” said Humphries Principal Melanie Mitchell. “And it came at a good time. We have PTA [meeting] tonight, so it will be a very long day for our teachers. This was a nice surprise. [The players] brought a lot of spirit to our building.”

The same buzz was felt at Toomer Elementary School and at Tuskegee Airmen Global Academy, where two more groups of Falcons – including Ryan, receiver Julio Jones, linebacker De’Vondre Campbell, safety Keanu Neal, linebacker Deion Jones, defensive tackle Dontari Poe, cornerback Desmond Trufant, receiver Nick Williams, cornerback C.J. Goodwin and general manager Rich McKay – put students to the test by running them through various agility drills. At both schools students spent 60 minutes running, jumping, throwing footballs, and playing other indoor games with the players as part of “Play 60,” a National Football League program aimed at encouraging kids to be active for 60 minutes a day to reverse childhood obesity.

Campbell and Jones play catch at Toomer ES

“This program is designed to show students that it’s fun to play football and fun to be active,” said Chris Millman, director of community relations for the Atlanta Falcons. “It also allows us to make a real difference in Atlanta and the state of Georgia.”




Mays Football Team Ranked Fourth in the State, Carver Senior to Receive National Honor on Thursday

Mays Cheerleaders 2017
The Mays Raiders are 3-1 and ranked No. 4 in the Atlanta Journal Constitution Class AAAAA Top 10 Poll, after a 49-7 win over New Manchester (Douglas County) last Saturday at Lakewood Stadium.

The Mays Raiders (3-1) won their third game in a row Saturday, blasting New Manchester of Douglas County, 49-7, at Lakewood Stadium.

Mays dominated the game and did not allow a score by New Manchester until the final minute of play. Mays is ranked No. 4 in the Atlanta Journal Constitution Class AAAAA Top 10 Poll.

Here’s how the other APS teams fared over the weekend:

Carver 28, Maynard Jackson 10

South Atlanta 19, Forest Park 7

Chattahoochee (Fulton County) 21, North Atlanta 14

Newnan (Coweta County) 42, Washington 14

Westside-Macon (Macon-Bibb County) 34, B.E.S.T. Academy 20

Lithia Springs (Douglas County) 22, Grady 20


Huge National Honor for Carver’s Monday

Carver senior receiver/defensive back Quindarious Monday will be honored Thursday, Sept. 21, at 10:30 a.m., in the school’s auditorium for being selected to play in the Under Armour High School All-American Game, Jan. 4 in Orlando.

Quindarious Monday (Carver)
Carver senior receiver/defensive back Quindarious Monday

Officials from Under Armour will be at the ceremony to present Quindarious with the jersey he will wear in the game, which is touted as one of the most prominent national high school all-star games in the country. ESPN will broadcast the game.


North Atlanta Leads Huge Winning Weekend for APS Fall Sports

North Atlanta Football 2017 - QB Wiley Hartley
North Atlanta quarterback Wiley Hartley helped lead the Warriors to a 14-0 win over Dunwoody last weekend. North Atlanta is now 3-0 for the first time since 2010.


North Atlanta led a great weekend of performances by Atlanta Public Schools teams, as nine of the district’s 11 teams won their games. Of the two that did not win, Grady had its game at Ware County cancelled due to Hurricane Irma, and Douglass loss to another APS school, B.E.S.T. Academy.

As for North Atlanta, the Warriors are now 3-0 for the first time since 2010 after the Warriors defeated Dunwoody (DeKalb County), 14-0 (Game summary). North Atlanta, which adopted the motto “The New North” at the beginning of this season, is attempting to turn things around after going 5-15 the last two seasons. The Warriors are now considered as a threat to make the state playoffs for the first time since 1996, the only season in the program’s history that it has advanced to the state playoffs. North Atlanta, which was selected as the WAGA-TV “High 5 Sports Team of the Week” after the first game of the season, was featured in the Atlanta Journal Constitution’s high school sports Class AAAAAA blog. And Friday, North Atlanta’s game against will be one of the AJC’s featured games of the weekend.

Here’s a look at the weekend’s other results:

(Thursday) Washington 13, Lithia Springs (Douglas County) 6

Therrell 8,
McNair (DeKalb County) 0

B.E.S.T. Academy 22,  Douglass 19

KIPP Atlanta Collegiate 24, Osborne (Cobb County) 6

Maynard Jackson 24,
North Clayton (Clayton County) 7

Mays 32,
Langston Hughes (Fulton County) 20

North Atlanta 14,
Dunwoody (DeKalb County) 0

(Saturday) South Atlanta 34, Clarkston (DeKalb County) 0

Grady at Ware County



Maynard Jackson is having its best season ever. The Jaguars are 12-1 after a 12-game winning streak to start the year. They are ranked as the No. 6 team in the AJC’s Class AAAAA Top 10.



Two APS schools are ranked in the AJC’s Class AA Top 10 this week:  Douglass is No. 7 while KIPP Atlanta Collegiate is No. 8.



APS Knights eighth grade goalie Elise Smith-David (Sutton) and sophomore attack (No. 8) Jaime Matherson (North Atlanta) have helped lead the girls’ team to a No. 2 ranking.

The APS water polo program is establishing itself as one of the best in the state. The APS Knights compete in the Georgia High School Water Polo Association league, a fall club sport season (water polo is not yet recognized as a varsity sport by the Georgia High Schools Association), with 16 other programs, as far north as Whitfield County (Dalton Catamounts) and as far south as Fayette County (Southern Crescent).

The Knights’ girls team is 5-1 and ranked No. 2 in the state, after winning all four of its matches over the weekend – including an overtime victory over the previously unbeaten No. 1 team in the state, Wheeler (Cobb County).

The Knights’ A Team (top co-ed division) is 5-3 and ranked No. 4 in the state, after splitting a pair of games over the weekend – a loss to No. 3 Southern Crescent and a win over No. 5 Norcross.







Slater Elementary Student Gets Walmart Surprise for Being an ‘Everyday Hero’

Walmart Classroom Surprise_Slater ES
Fifth grader LyNila Cain poses with Walmart representatives and Slater Elementary school staff after a recent classroom surprise. LyNila was awarded a a $100 Walmart gift card and a backpack full of school supplies for her heroic efforts for saving her family from a fire.

By: Alicia Sands Lurry

Fifth-grader LyNila Cain received a well-deserved surprise on Wednesday when she was recognized as a Walmart “Everyday Hero” in the city of Atlanta. The Slater Elementary student was surprised for helping save her family from a fire last year by alerting a neighbor to call 911 and rescuing her little brother who has asthma.

For her courageous and heroic efforts, LyNila received a substantial amount of school gear, which included notebooks, pens, pencils, erasers and folders, as well as a $100 Walmart gift card.

Joined by her parents, teachers and Slater Elementary School staff, LyNila is described as a determined, hardworking student who is quick to help others in need.

“LyNila perseveres, never gives up, and she shows grit and solves problems,” said Slater Principal Lenise Bostic. “She is definitely the right kid at the right time to receive this surprise.”

Derrick Lawman, who manages the local Cleveland Ave. Walmart store in Atlanta, said LyNila captures the essence of what an “Everyday Hero” is all about. As part of its Everyday Heroes program, Walmart spotlights ordinary students who do extraordinary things in their communities by surprising them.

“Our goal is to shine a light on students, and what she did was an awesome thing,” Lawman said. “Our back-to-school theme is about being a hero, and she is certainly a hero.”