"A child's learning is the function more of the characteristics of his classmates than those of the teacher." James Coleman, 1972

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Fearmongering Returns to School

As if talk of gangs in school is something new, the Post runs this story just as school starts back so that we can feel justified suspecting any minority student who is not dressed in a uniform.

I spent almost 20 years as a public school teacher, and this kind of alarmist crap was taking up faculty meeting time back when 2 Live Crew was first being banned by WalMart. Here is an example of things to watch for (besides blackness, of course) as reported in the Post:

In student notebooks, they said, scribblings or illustrations often reveal gang affiliations. And synchronized wardrobes can publicly identify gang members or associates. The experts displayed jerseys, bandannas, baseball caps and other paraphernalia confiscated from gang members. There were, for instance, jerseys with the number 13, signifying the gang Mara Salvatrucha, or MS-13.

This type of fear-mongering can also be seen, of course, on the cable trash news channels. MSNBC, in their role as Fox Lite, seems particularly inspired to "inform" the public on the dangers of black males.

1 comment:

  1. We in the Washington DC metro area have been jolted into reality by the recent machete attach/gang trial; it makes sense, then, that there should be a little fear.

    Fear mongering is not mongering if the facts support the situation: and in northern Virginia, gang related activity is very much on the rise.

    As a middle class suburbanite, I appreciate being kept up to date on the subtle and not so subtle signs of gang affiliation. My young emotionally disabled students are certainly at risk for becoming members, and sadly, in our community, recruitment starts in elementary school in some neighborhoods.

    I am being hoodwinked by alarmists? I wish that were true, I really do.