An unarmed Black man, Christopher Moore, is recently shot to death by Greensboro police officers and on the third anniversary of the hogtying and killing of another Black man, Marcus Smith, by Greensboro police, the News & Record editorializes that the real concern is the “dangerous and stressful profession” of policing ("An officer in distress … at police headquarters," Sept. 8).
Never mind that policing is not even in the top 10 most dangerous jobs in the U.S. Never mind the very real problem that the Greensboro Police Department has a well-documented pattern and practice of racially biased policing and violence against people of color in Greensboro.
Never mind that sham, secret investigations by the GPD have covered up violence against Black folks or that the city manager’s office and City Council have facilitated these cover-ups for decades.
Never mind that the current City Council, in a meeting closed to the public, recently decided not to consider an independent investigation into the GPD even though there is ample evidence that an investigation is needed, including the recently revealed fact that 76% of the victims of hogtying by the GPD were Black.
Enough is enough. Time for the people to decide what “public safety” should look like in Greensboro.
Unmask your brains
Recent photographs in the News & Record show parents holding up signs at the Guilford County Schools administrative offices opposing having their children wear a mask as protection against contracting COVID. This parent protest demonstrates stunningly ignorant thinking.
These parents need to unmask their brains and realize that wearing a mask is far better than seeing their child wearing a respirator in an ICU hospital unit. Sure, it's not easy for a child to wear a mask, but it's easier than the possible consequences of not wearing one.
Bravo for informed parents who listen to the infectious disease specialists and are fully aware of the possible horrific consequences caused by a very contagious virus that is passed through the air.
If you want your children to breathe fresh air, have them wear masks that will eventually make that possible.
Those test scores
Last school year, I had a conversation that seems relevant now as we balance in-person learning with the upswing in COVID cases. The 2020-21 school year took us through a constantly shifting reality in the classroom, and many folks in leadership were fond of the now-clichéd “we’re building this plane while we’re flying it” metaphor.
In frustration, I was quoting this line to a student when he said, "Raeford, I don’t think I’ve ever heard of someone landing a plane while building it mid-air," or something to that effect. He was right; we crash-landed on our path toward academic growth. The test scores unsurprisingly confirm what anyone paying attention already knew: Globally, we failed to meet our learning goals.
Yet, every single person I know worked endlessly to save what was salvageable last school year. We are now better prepared for the challenges of this year, if we grow from the lessons learned when we opened schools last year.
This is all to say that I stand by our noble attempt to steer that ramshackle plane, and I am invigorated by the chance to try again. Empathy, reason and optimism are what I ask as we stakeholders in education move forward.
The writer teaches social studies at Northeast Guilford High School.
Masks and dining
The letter complaining about someone not wearing a mask in a restaurant caught my attention. I wonder if it was the same "rules" that many restaurants seem to have, that you must wear these ever-vital masks when walking in, but can take them off once you sit down.
Actually that does make sense, as we know this ever-discerning virus is deadly for people standing in restaurants, but knows not to infect those who sitting down. I was in a restaurant in a college town recently, there were 100-plus people sitting down, without masks. I walked to the cashier to ask about a take-out order. She asked me to put a mask on. I calmly asked if I pulled up a chair would I still have to put a mask on?
Every so often, someone will mention to me that I am not wearing a mask. So I simply tell them I self-identify as someone that does not need one. I can be a Democratic lawmaker on an airplane, a rioter, someone attending a birthday party for Barack Obama, a Democratic leader needing a haircut, an illegal immigrant, a Democratic governor in a fancy restaurant or a spectator at a game.
Editor's note: According to the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services: "Masks are currently recommended for employees and for customers as much as possible when not eating or drinking and when social distancing measures are difficult to maintain."