What makes a teacher survive in a school where the guards are more violent than the students?
A one-minute story by Rhasaan Oyasaba Manning
Crossroads, Horizons, & Passages
by Rhasaan Oyasaba Manning
I am a teaching-artist at a few “academies” in the Bronx with names like Crossroads, Horizons, & Passages.
Every day on my way up to class I try to guess how many of the original 20 students will actually be there.
Will there be 5 in solitary confinement?
5 in court?
5 zonked out on meds?
This day there were 2 new kids in class. Legends. Within a minute they’ve already attacked another student.
So the guards rush in, yoke ’em up, beat ’em down, drag ’em out and body-slam ’em in the hallway.
One guard comes back to me and says,
“Yo… You lookin’ at me funny cuz I beat dey ass? Hippie-ass nigga, please. You don’t know who dem 2 niggas is? Dem 2 niggas doused a mothafucka in gasoline and set that nigga on fire. It was on the news! Think I give a fuck about dem 2 niggas?! I hope they get the fuckin’ chair, suhn!…”
Turns out the 14 & 15 year olds were tried and convicted as adults, and sent upstate where the real men are at.
In here, we call that early graduation.
And that guard? If I happened to drive up on him in the street, I would run his ass over.
Except, I’m a hippie-ass nigga…