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Baltimore…Again

03 Mar

A Baltimore School Officer slaps and kicks a student on video…

Looks really bad, and there is an uproar of indignation rising from a bunch of folks. However we have no idea what led up to this confrontation. I rode our local subway system into and all through the city for the past 3 1/2 years and certainly saw incidents of misbehavior which warranted a bit of old style attention-getting by the Transit Police. Whether such prevented any of the young folks on the receiving end from devolving further into being little sociopaths, I have no idea. It certainly had the effect of reducing petty misbehavior and petty violence on the trains. By the time those that get to major violence and robbery – you are not going to turn them around.

My father was variously a Principal and teacher back in the days of segregation in black High Schools. As a little tyke, who would be dropped off in the afternoon by the sitter, I certainly witnessed an occasional “reeducation” of a hardhead by one of the teachers or the Vice-Principal who also happened to be the football coach. One of the things I never will forget after moving into integrated schools was the level of vandalism and destruction of school property that was tolerated in the integrated schools. We certainly had kids who would sneak cigarettes into the boys or girls rooms – but I never witnessed anyone tearing the sinks or toilets off the wall, or writing graffiti over everything. Perhaps it was the impact of not having much but hand-me-downs from the white schools (“equal” in those days meant you had the same desks and books as the white schools, shortly after they had been used by the white schools for 10 years), and knowing anything that was broken would take a long time, if ever to be replaced.

I remember conversations among the black teachers when they would get together socially. When I grew up, black schools practiced corporal punishment as the norm. My third grade teacher, an older lady probably in her late 50’s or early 60’s at that time was real Old School. She gave a whack across the knuckles with a ruler for each word missed on the daily spelling test or math test…

As a poor speller, I got a lot of whacks. I was saved by the fact I was very good at math.

 

 
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Posted by on March 3, 2016 in Black History, BlackLivesMatter

 

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