"I've been polling students and adults on the merger and most don’t understand or know why they have to merge after all of these years,” said Robinson, director of Urban Life Center in Mound Bayou. “Some ask questions such as ‘Shelby and Mound Bayou are rival schools. Why is Mound Bayou the headquarters?’ I want to counsel these families and use the theme ‘let's get it together.'"
Counseling will be offered to all students free of charge and Robinson stressed the importance of counseling before beginning school.
"We want to break down the bullying and cyber bullying, also we want to help with gun control. It's going to be very difficult for these students because Shelby came in as an F school and Mound Bayou as a B school. We want to get the students to never say never and never deplete your mind. They have to be told why it's necessary to learn and grow," he said.
Robinson, who began counseling in 1972 and holds a degree from Chicago University, said the counseling will go on throughout the school year and he believes to have success in the merger there needs to be cooperation from the churches, community and the parents.
"Everything begins at home. The parents must encourage their kids to go to school and encourage them to not stop. We must show that sisterhood and brotherhood and show that they must stay in school to obtain a good job," he said.
Robinson said counselors are also willing to work with students from West Bolivar Consolidated School District as well.
“Seventy-five percent of students have anger development problems. In family counseling, we deal with these anger management problems. We want to teach them how to build character and develop themselves. I was first trained in law enforcement in 1964 as a professional investigator and I found that it is better to do counseling prior to and as a prevention of committing crimes," said Robinson.
Robinson said, while counseling is free, they will accept donations.
"The main focus is to keep students focused and to never give up. We will deal with bullying and cyber bullying because I know we'll have a lot of that this year and we want these students to be able to put down the technology and study.
"Counseling solves so many problems, even the smallest issues," said Robinson.
Robinson added he focuses on the serenity prayer and said, "They must accept the things they can't change. These students and parents can't change the merger. They must have the courage to change the things they can. They need to show some growth, be focused, and understand what it takes. It will be hard, but they can do it."
For more information about counseling for students call 662-719-1539 or 662-741-2522.