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.

Saturday, August 05, 2006

The Keystone Cops: August 5th, Jefferson City, Missouri, 3:00 AM

Our neighbor down the street had her door kicked in. It was one of those heavy steel doors so it took the intruder a few times to break it open--four or five. The door didn't dent, of course, but everything that let the door lock flew a few yards into the room or splintered along the door frame.

She knew the intruder--it was her estranged husband. He ran into the room and asked her for a match so he could smoke. She told him she was going to call the police because she couldn't believe he actually kicked in her door. He told her he had fixed the door the last time it had happened and he would fix the door again. She called the police. He ran into the basement and she locked him in. (There's actually a padlock on the door on the apartment side.)

She had to call the police twice. It didn't matter that she said my ex-husband just kicked in my door. It didn't matter that she felt her life was in danger. It especially didn't matter that she felt safer since she had locked him in the basement. (But then again he had kicked down a steel door, hadn't he?)

The police came five minutes after she called the second time. (Or fifteen minutes after the first call. The police station, by the way, is only four blocks down the street.) Two squad cars. One had a searchlight on as he slowly went down the block to her house. At the broken door, both officers stopped dead in their tracks. They looked over the damage. "Is he drunk?" one of them asked.

"A little," she answered.

"Where's he now? Is he still in the house?" the other asked.

"No," she said, "he's locked in the basement."

"Does he have a weapon?"

"No, just follow me."

She led them to the basement door, unlocked it, carefully walked down the stairs, and when she got to the bottom, turned to point out to them where he was hiding. When she turned, they were not behind her. She could not believe her eyes. She thought they were on the stairs going down step by step with her. But, no. They were still at the top of the stairs by the door.

"It's safe," she said then. "He's gone. Must have broken down the back door."

"You're sure?"


They came down then with their large flashlights on even though the basement was well lit. He was gone. He had broken out through another door, much flimsier than the first, but still a door.

They told her they would contact her when they found him. He drives a pink Lincoln--one of the classic models. He had been drinking. The police know him by name. No one has made contact with her yet.


Anonymous Rose said...

I was just wondering, how much more jail time would this man get if he kicked down a strangers door vs his ex wife's door. Makes one wonder if the cops would have been more eager to arrest him if they weren't ex spouses.
The taxpayers, by the way, if no one noticed, are getting ripped off by not having a proper protection by law enofrecement. That aside, looks like the folks have more courage when they wear the rebel flag at the sporting events then when they uniform up as cops.

1:08 PM  

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