News headline about 7-year-old boy handcuffed and 12-year-old girl slammed

As an African American woman, I started elementary school during the Jim Crow Law era. I went to middle school and high school after the Civil Rights movement helped end the law. As an adult, I have watched the country still practice the philosophy that we, Americans and all people that live here, are “separate but equal.” 

I have watched the people of this country that I love, go about the business of “play acting” that the laws of Jim Crow no longer exist. That minorities, specifically, Black minorities, have the same rights as the white person that they live next to, that they work with, worship with and sit next to in school. We as a people, have been able to “try to get along” with each other, especially in public, regardless of our real thoughts in private. 

With the new chief in charge, it has been made very clear that for minorities, all minorities, it’s now “Open Season” on them and their children. It seems that there are some people, especially white people in power, who now think they don’t have to hide their anger towards others. My concern is that in some school systems, the people hired to protect our children seem to feel this way too and as a result are harming our children versus serving and protecting our children. 

Just last month, two Dallas police officers at schools showed a lack of compassion for the children they were supposed to protect. On May 9, 2017, a seven-year old boy with ADHD was put in handcuffs for “acting out” in school. The next day, at another Dallas school, a twelve-year-old girl was body slammed to the ground and pepper sprayed during a fight with other students. As a result, her clavicle was fractured. That officer is on administrated leave. Both incidents were called “interventions” by the school districts. 

In March, a San Antonio school officer was fired by the district for body-slamming a middle-school student. The district agreed that based on video evidence the officer’s response was “absolutely unwarranted,” and justice prevailed for that young lady. But, she was slammed face down on the cement so I’m sure she still has some very bad flashbacks about that incident. 

The seven-year old boy now has the stigma of being handcuffed before his school mates and seen as a “dangerous person.” What psychological effect will this have on his life? The twelve-year old girl now has the feeling of fearing the police who were supposed to protect her. She has a physical injury that may affect her the rest of her life. These “officers” have caused mental anguish to, not only the children and their parents, but their schoolmates and those of us who watched the young girls being assaulted by the police officers on the live videos. Thank God for the ability for these incidents to be made public knowledge. 

When I was a child in school I had to deal with being called the “N” word from white students. I had to endure white teachers not teaching me anything but how to color and play house with kitchen toys when I was in the first three years of my school education. I then moved to white teachers not wanting to answer my questions because “black people can only be maids and butlers,” yes, that sixty something old white woman said that to our fourth-grade class of black children.

Thank God for the white blond blue eyed young woman teacher who didn’t see us as such and took the time to encourage us to read and write and dream. And thank God for my parents who made me read books about “my” Black people and their accomplishments in society and the world. 

And although, we did get “paddled” from time to time, of course the Black children received more paddling than the white children, I never was in fear of being slammed to the ground, being pepper sprayed, being punched in the face or being shot by someone who worked in the school as an adult.

Now our children, especially, children of minorities must fear and be aware that these very violent actions can and will be inflicted upon them by the very people who are supposed to protect them. And these people who have harmed them, may or may not receive any punishment for their violent actions. 

What do we say to our children when we have leadership that now makes it their mission to bring America back to the “good old days” and make it “great again” when those were the days of slavery, discrimination, Jim Crow Laws, lynching and hatred of other people who are not white? God protect our children from Open Season.


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