There is something about football season that captures the excitement of a community, especially an evening game played on Friday Night Under the Lights.

On last Friday evening, I was blessed to join the large crowd at the football game between West Orange High School and Patterson Kennedy High School as well as participate in the celebration to retire the West Orange High School Football Jersey that was worn by Christopher Morgan, Jr. who I referred to as “Chicago”. Unfortunately, Chris lost his life this past June when his transport vehicle overturned on his way to summer training while serving our country at West Point Military Academy. He was 22 years old and was scheduled to graduate with the Class of 2020.

I initially traveled to the game to speak with various people to journal an article entitled “The Person Behind the Smile.” However, after interacting with various people which included members of the West Orange Board of Education, Administrators, Faculty, Security Personnel and other Support Staff, I was led in a different direction to capture “The Person Behind the Position.”

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It is extremely important to understand that the aforementioned people (individually and collectively) are entrusted with making crucial, sometimes split-second decisions that could permanently affect their lives as well as others that they interact with. Any empowered mistake could result in arguments, injuries, detentions, suspensions, expulsions, arrests, court appearances, deaths and/or lawsuits. 

It is also imperative that members within the community serve together as accountability partners to make certain we are safeguarding our reputations with the best conduct and character; “If You See Something, Say Something.”

From the words of Martin Luther King, Jr. “The time is always right to do what is right. History will have to record that the greatest tragedy of this period of social transition was not the strident clamor of the bad people, but the appalling silence of the good people.”

Let’s exemplify with all that be in us the spirit and fruit of Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness, and Self-Control.  Against such things there is no law!