My Grandfather - Original Writing

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When I was in seventh grade, I was almost arrested. It feels shameful to even type those words but I, the teacher’s pet, was almost arrested in seventh grade. One day in gym class, a girl named “Lacey” called me a “nigger.” I cannot remember what I said to Lacey, but I am sure I was loud and angry. In my household we never used that word. My grandfather was born in 1920s Florida and my grandmother was born in 1950s Georgia. They both told us that “nigger” was the last word some of their neighbors heard as they were killed. Although I never had those experiences, that word is emotionally charged for me.
After I responded, Lacey and her friends decided they wanted to fight me. I knew I did not want to fight, in part because I was afraid …show more content…

Mr. Williams asked me to call my mother. When my mother did not answer, I became afraid because I wanted her to defend me. Mr. Williams told me I could have been arrested for simply planning to fight. It did not seem to matter that I tried to diffuse the situation by stepping away from Stacey. I was shocked and wished that I had a family member there to protect me. Luckily, the school principal, “Mr. T,” knew of my reputation as a good kid and spoke up on my behalf. I was told that if I apologized to the other girls, I would not face any consequences.
During my freshman year of college, I took a course on education reform and had the opportunity to reflect on my middle school experience. In the class, we discussed the “school-to-prison pipeline.” Although I appreciated the usefulness of the phrase, the ease in which the it was tossed around made me uncomfortable. The system was sometimes too neatly packaged and abstractly discussed. I was also disturbed because people like me, young women, Southerners, and people from rural towns, were often left out of the conversation. For kids in my area, this phenomenon is all too real. When I was in school, students were slammed to the ground and arrested for fighting or disrupting class. When a classmate died, a few of us were pushed around when we gathered to pray because campus security assumed we were fighting. Now, the situation seems worse-- kindergarteners have been handcuffed for having

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