A Teacher's Day

The day in the life of an inner city large urban school district teacher after the high stakes testing ends and there is still three more months left before summer vacation.

Location: Chicago, Illinois, United States

I have taught school for over thirty years always in the inner city and for the most part always upper grade students. I have two children and I have been married for twenty years.

Friday, June 23, 2006

Summer Vacation in Jefferson City, MO

I am now ending the first week of my summer vacation in a smallish town—population of about 40,000 (quite a difference from Chicago). Jefferson City, Missouri is actually one of the most desirable places for retirees. I didn’t make this up. It’s in the Kiplinger Report. I’d rather be in Chicago. It’s safer there.

This has not been a vacation. I have already met with the chief of police Roger Schroeder, a few other officers including Captain Mike Smith, the city administrator and Gail Strope from Human Resources (whatever that is). We have a gang situation here that is about to explode and for some strange reason the police perceive everything that is going on as a dispute between neighbors.

Example: My wife videotaped an actual knife attack on the street in front of our house. It was a fight between girls and a few adults. The adult held one of the victims as her daughter swung on her with a knife. Thank God for a teenage boy who pulled the girl with the knife away at just the right moment. And it seems to always be girls attacking. Was my wife called as a witness? No. Can she press charges for disturbance of the peace? No. Can she even tell the police who started the fight? They don’t want to know. I’m amazed.

There is no disorderly conduct charge down here and the curfew laws allow children to stay out past 12:30 AM. It gets worse. If one adult over 21 is in the house, there is no curfew violation at all as long as the children do not step off of the property. I have even been to the city council where I gave a fairly impassioned speech—and nothing gets done.

The police actually believe this is just a problem between neighbors—and I know I have already said this—but I cannot believe that this is their actual sentiment.

The other night twenty youths stood on the corner at 1:00 AM and tried to break the stop sign at the corner. We have the E Block Boyz, the GDs (though I think they're just a bunch of wannabees), the Street Hustlers, and the Corner Boys (who I am taking very seriously).

I myself spray painted gang signs off the street. We have photos of this. I think I’ll upload them to this blog.

I have a bunch more to write, but I have other obligations. I’ll write when I get a chance.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

do you think this is a good idea?

Robert L.

10:40 AM  

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