Being Bold: Staying Quiet

March 23, 2018

I told you there was more to the story (I refer you to Don't be a menace for part one of this story).  


I take you back to the marketing meeting with the firm which my job had already mostly been outsourced to. I, as was everyone else, was asked why we took our assignments at our post. I told them how my teacher told me when I was six-years-old that "you came here on a slave ship like cats and dogs." At the same time, I knew my brother was having behavioral issues. It turned out that my brother's teacher was beating him, trying to break his spirit for no reason, he was eight-years-old. We were articulate children and alerted our parents as to what was going on. Because of that, my mother mobilized the parents and got those teachers fired, my brother, transferred to a new school and the superintendent resigned. I never had a permanent teacher that year, but I did have a wonderfully unique experience. I, at six-years-old, learned how to talk to adults and advocate for myself to the point that I helped reshape the demographics of the staff in that district. One of the teachers from the school even came to visit me at my house around Christmas and gave me a doll, that I treasured for years, to thank me for speaking up. 


All of the previous is why I wanted to take a post in education. My family had gone through the worst and enacted real change, which started for me at age six. Advocacy was in my DNA. But that offended the room. I don't know if it was the fact that I mentioned the blatant racism or the number of people that lost their jobs as a part of that investigation. I don't know. What I do know is that my coworkers called me bold for bringing it up. They said "you got balls," which of course I replied with "no, I have ovaries, and they're stronger than your balls." But it rocked my mind that speaking out about getting rid of bad actors is considered bold. I still don't understand that logic. That abuse had been going on at that school for years, and my family ended it. That's the story of my life; I see something, I say something, often at a personal cost. But to me, it seems bolder to let that travesty continue. That, however, is a story for another day. 


Continuing with that day's story, after she (my boss) shut me down during the discussion and physically took my stuff out of my hands  (coincidentally the only person who witnessed it doesn't remember if that happened or not; code for 'I don't want to lose my job'). Even when we got to my boss' office she told me how important teachers are, which I agree, I just know there are also bad ones out there. I was already uncomfortable with this conversation because I could tell I was fired or, at the least, it would lead to my termination. She asked how I feel about teachers and I told her "I feel the same about teachers that I do all people, I assume the best until you give me a reason not to."  The way she put the teacher first even when I told her about the racists, abusers, and pedophiles I've exposed she looked at me like I was a problem, which makes me think she has something to hide that someone like me would expose. She tried to press me for more information to the point where I fake cried to try to make her uncomfortable so she'd let me go. Eventually, I just had to make up something and said "I'm too flustered, I need a minute." she was not going to let me go until she got some reaction or some dirt and I was not going to give it to her.


I knew she was really savage when I accidentally attended a meeting I wasn't supposed to. My desk was located in the conference room, I came back from lunch one day, and the development team was having a meeting in there. I was graciously allowed to sit still and look pretty this time (I routinely got moved from my desk for meetings). Now, this was wrong for a couple of reasons; first being I was a part of the development team, so I should have been invited to the meeting, so that's when I started looking up recourse. The second reason almost had me do a spit take. My boss spoke about an internship program they would start where they would get students from (I'll say it,) the hood that grew up in their program to show off as their success stories. But "don't worry they'll mostly be doing labor and we'll get the honor society type" and then she actually winked and nudged. Could you be any more racist? What does honor society type even mean? I was honor society and deans list and every nerd club you can think of, and you're afraid of me. Yes, these student's will get professional development and their scholarship, but they've already been judged. The funniest thing about it, though, was that I went to five of the schools we served and when I tried to tell her how I thought we could improve, I was reprimanded and said I was insubordinate; even though she asked.


So, naturally, when they offered what I saw as a chance to stay or a chance to go, I chose to leave. In the philosophy of: you can give a man to fish, and he'll be fed for a day, or you can teach a man to fish, and he'll never go hungry again; they want to give people a couple of fish, pat themselves on the back, get some fancy take out for themselves, then go home. 







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