Reading the news about Pittsburgh Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. elementary school teacher Janice Watkins being allegedly attacked by the mother of a student because she took a cellphone away from that child in her class was surprising to many.
But not to me.
We so often talk about violence among our youth, but much of that is transferred to them by their parents.
Many of us who are past age 30 have to realize that many of the youth we talk about who solve their problems through violence are now having children.
We as Black people must get out of this “solving our problems with our fists” phenomenon, because in the end we actually lose. The mother, Daishonta Williams, 29, allegedly confronted Watkins at school, but not satisfied with the result, followed her and threw a rock that hit the teacher in the face as she drove near the West End Bridge, Oct. 18.
Imagine, you are driving and a rock or brick flies through your open window, hitting you in the face and sending you to the hospital with you thanking God it didn’t take out an eye or cause severe damage. According to the New Pittsburgh Courier story (Nov. 1), Williams admitted to throwing the rock in a police report. This is really a great example for the child. Basically, she’s being told by her family that breaking the rules is alright.
The Watkins Family Fund has been created to help the family with medical expenses. Hopefully the Pittsburgh Board of Education’s medical insurance will cover all her medical expenses as well as giving her paid leave during her recovery.
She stated that she wasn’t sure if she was returning after recovering. The school board has done an outstanding job of placing caring teachers, many who are Black, at the school including a Black principal and vice principal to upgrade the quality of education Black children at Pittsburgh King receive.
There are a lot of Blacks, especially Black women, in the education system, both public, charter and private schools, who are dedicated to educating our children and they do not deserve the kind of treatment Watkins received. Teachers shouldn’t have to live in fear after disciplining a child in high school, let alone grade school. Now teachers not only have to fear the child but now the parents.
One thing is for sure, society outside the school rooms isn’t, and the prisons are full of the proof.
Another mass shooting…
There was another mass shooting this past weekend, this time in a small town in Texas. A lone gunman entered First Baptist Church with a congregation of about 50 and gunned down 26 men, women, and children with a semi-automatic weapon. I’m waiting to find out the reasoning for the mass killing by Deven Kelley, but reports have stated the church is where his mother-in-law sometimes attends. News commentators said that the shooter was shot by another person with a rifle, and he dropped his gun and fled by car where police found him later dead, as Kelley may have then shot himself.
If the reports are true, it was good that somebody else other than the shooter had a weapon. Because if the man with the rifle had not been there, how many others would have died? I’ve always said that I believe people have the right to have a gun but not automatic or semi-automatic military weapons.
Genea L. Webb…
My condolence goes out to Genea L. Webb, who lost her mother two years ago and a few weeks ago, said goodbye to her father. Genea has been a freelance writer for the Courier for more than 20 years, she’s been like a daughter to me. I will always keep you in my prayers, Genea.
(Ulish Carter is the former managing editor of the New Pittsburgh Courier.)
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