Who Will Save Boston's Inner-City Children?(continued)

by Jeanne Belovitch



and slander intensify the situation: “Your mother's a whore.” “ Yours walks the streets.” “Your father's a pimp.” “Your sister's ugly.”

If everyone was suspended for saying fuck, 95 percent of the student body would be out of school for 2-3 days, and they would welcome the “punishment.” Of course, it's unrealistic to suspend kids for swearing considering their more threatening acts: pushing, kicking, fighting, setting fires, setting off fire crackers, stealing, carrying dangerous weapons, and bribery.

Tack on to this discord, the perpetual motion of pubescent sixth, seventh, and eighth graders who are continuously touching one another, and you have the typical environment a Woodrow Wilson school teacher confronts from 7:45 a.m. To 1:45 p.m. every day. Depending on the teacher, it can take nearly an entire 50 minute session to get a class under control. There is no disciplinary support from the administration except for one hired guard.

Against this background, there's not much teaching going on at Woodrow Wilson Middle School. There is, however, a lot of “busy work” as the teachers call it, to keep the troops placid...to get them through the day, back on the bus, and home again.

But even though these kids put more effort into creating chaos than learning, underneath their “I don't care” actions which are exacerbated by an “I don't care” school system...they know they're getting shafted.

* * * * * * * * * *

A substitute teacher earnestly trying to teach, finally screams in desperation over the din of the class, “Listen to me. I care about you.” The noise stops for but seconds, while these young vices gather their rage and let out between clenched teeth in near unison: “You don't care about us. No one does.” The following comments express the feelings and fears of students at


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