8th District Congressional candidate Luther Mercer spoke in Jackson yesterday at Jackson Central-Merry High School. He was going to talk about the historical aspects of Black History month but instead the speech moved into education. Some of the students, according to a Jackson Sun writer, challenged Mercer.
“I’m troubled and concerned by what I see,” Mercer told the students. “You have the ability, and you have the gifts. Don’t let this door close on you; I promise you will regret it.”
During the 45-minute program, some students talked and laughed, making it difficult to hear the speakers. Despite being told several times to quiet down, the room remained noisy during Mercer’s speech.
Mercer told the students JCM Principal Eric Jones told him before the program that many of the students took ACT tests Thursday morning.
“He said some of you blew it off,” Mercer said. “Are you proud of that?”
“Yes,” some of the students responded.
Not all of the students were rowdy, but many listened quietly. His platform is on jobs and education, which he believes are connected and he’s bringing the message to the age-range impacted by making a decision to possibly seek higher education.
He spoke of the challenges he was seeing in West Tennessee after the speech, citing that having worked and traveled abroad, he sees the outmoded model of education in the state right now in comparison to other countries.
The Sun writes:
He is concerned about college graduates leaving West Tennessee because there are no jobs in the area.
“I believe my message is resonating at the grassroots level,” he said. “The challenge has been raising money, but I’m excited and pressing forward.”
More on Luther Mercer from earlier this month here.