Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Outside my Window

While I was grading papers today after school, there was a maintenance guy coming in an out of my room trying to get my wireless connection set up. I had my back to the window, so when Maintenance Guy and exclaimed, "What is going on?!" I had no idea what he was talking about. I turned around and there, about 20 feet outside my window was a police officer standing behind a tree, pointing a gun at a car. He wasn't the only one. There were a whole bunch of officers in various places, with at least four pointing guns toward this car. A guy got out of the car with his hands up, and slowly walked backward toward the group of police, where they handcuffed him and put him in the back of one of cop cars. Guns never flinching, this repeated with the other two passengers. Then the police, still pointing their guns, searched the car, but appeared to find nothing of interest. There was a lot of discussion by the police, an ID check of at least one guy, and a lot of car searching (although no dogs involved). After about 30 minutes, the police opened up the cop cars, uncuffed at least two of the guys (I'd gone back to grading by this point, so I'm not sure if the third was released), who got back in their car and drove away.

I don't really know how to feel about all of this. I'm pretty sure that the guys who were driving the car were not our students (they looked too old, and our principal stayed out of it), but there's no reason to think that they're not connected to the school in some way, whether as alumni, through a sibling, etc. Even if they have no direct connection, having guns drawn on campus--at a time when a lot of students were still around--doesn't help the already hostile environment we're feeling on our campus this year (more on that later). All I can really feel right now is unfairness. Unfairness that some students couldn't walk home today because there were guns pointed as they walked out the door. Unfairness that this probably wouldn't be an unfamiliar sight to many of my students. Unfairness that everyone who drove past saw a slew of police cars in front of a school that already has a reputation for being "ghetto" and unsafe. Unfairness that these were three Latino guys being pulled over by 10+ white police. Unfairness that this is something I even have to think about when I'm trying to focus on my students' learning. Even more unfairness that this is something my students have to think about when they're trying to focus on just being teenagers.

1 comment:

Jen of A2eatwrite said...

Another unfairness? Community had someone who was not deemed armed and who was being chased for credit card fraud was shut down for three hours and the students had to sit on the floor at various times so the police could chase down this subject.

So... nice Suburban school? Tons of police care.

Oakland, underserved pop. school? Pointing guns ON campus.

Ugh.