As I quietly sat in the center of my loud predominately black 7th grade classroom trying to pay attention to the English teacher’s lesson of the day, the noise grew louder with laughter and chatter. Because my middle school was both an English and French speaking school, it did a great job representing the two cultures. However, there was a great division between the English and French programs. So, this French-speaking teacher had trouble controlling these rowdy teenagers and constantly lost control of the classroom with teenagers pushing her patience.
After getting tired of the heckling from the class, my teacher turned around from the whiteboard with her piercing, blue eyes narrowing on us and her pale, white skin turning red. She yelled “quiet!” To which all the kids laughed at her frustration. She grew redder and started calling out the names of the loudest and most “delinquent” kids in the classroom. Not one of them seemed phased as they not so silently chuckled and made faces at one another.
At one point, the girl sitting behind me whispered, “watch her hair stick up while she fuss.” And I smirked as it was evident that her short, gray strands of hair stood up as she continued screaming out names. She noticed my small smile I was trying to suppress and immediately addressed it. “Now, Talon, I’m sure your father wouldn’t pleased to hear about you misbehaving in class!”
You can read Talon's full piece in There Is No School Without Us, coming out this February.