August 4, 2020

White teacher, black student trade blows in school district famous for integration

Here’s the short story: A teacher in Louisville, Kentucky asks a student to put his cell phone away. He angrily refuses. They face off. The teacher shoves him to the ground.

A rowdy cage match ensues.

The local teachers union says this incident is a result of taking police officers out of the schools. And, now, they need more resources. And, of course, there student trauma is an problem that produces superpredators.

But, most importantly, it’s all about having more cops in the classroom – again.

As a side note, labor unions in Louisville were literally at the front lines of opposition to racial integration.

See this description of local hostilities from a NBC Nightly News story in 1974:

In other parts of the school district where anti-busing sentiment is not so great, white attendance was somewhat better. Although, overall, half the white students were absent. Black students did not seem to be boycotting. At schools where they were bused in, they were most often greeted with curiosity, seldom with hostility. There were no attempts to keep them away. But at mid-morning, in defiance of the federal court order, several thousand anti-busing demonstrators marched through the downtown area, blocking traffic.

Most of the marchers belong to labor unions. They carry cards identifying themselves as pipe fitters and electrical workers. They say that they’re on strike today because they don’t believe forced busing is constitutional.

The wildcat strike was so large it caused three factories in Louisville to shut down for the day, and another to cut back production. The march was peaceful for almost an hour, but then police moved in to enforce the court-ordered ban on demonstrations. Nine people were arrested, most were charged with disorderly conduct and unlawful assembly. There were no serious injuries. In contrast, at the schools where students were bused today, there were no incidents. Instruction began as usual and classes were dismissed routinely. The only problems today took place off school grounds. Mike Jackson, NBC News, Louisville.

Back to today. The teacher-student fight could be seen as a long-standing reality beneath the integration idealism. For me, it’s a sign that racial Rousseauism is dangerous. We should strive for peace among people but we’re mugged by history and outmatched by the vigor of its darkest inclinations. The teacher and student in conflict here are not merely individuals in a random dust-up, but bubble-ups from days past who will face off again (and again and again….).

Also, nowhere is that problem more predictable than common schooling delivered by your government even in the school district considered the most successful with racial integration programs..

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