Veteran teacher Bob Fecho, now a reading education professor at the University of Georgia, writes about young men, violence and guns in the wake of the Newtown shooting:
I am a white male. I’ve been in education for nearly 40 years and for 24 of those years I taught in three different secondary schools in Philadelphia. The students in all those schools came from working class and working poor black families.
When I would tell other whites who I’d meet casually—a taxi driver or a sales clerk, for example—where I worked, I’d hear anything from the coded “It must be hard teaching them kids” to the bald “You should get a medal for teaching there.” I suspect they imagined a school running amok, with fights breaking out daily, gangs terrorizing teachers, and mayhem rampant. Such was never the case.
Instead, I would see how the young men I taught were frequently vilified in local media, how black on white crime was plastered across the 11 o’clock news, despite its