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Tuesday, April 1, 2008

What The Heck Is Happening At Wilson?


If you don't live here in the city, you might have missed that Wilson High School has been in the news lately following the arrests of twelve students just before spring break. This was not an isolated incident by any means. Earlier in the year a student was assaulted by over age freshmen who had been "socially promoted." And that's two of the problems in a nutshell. Number one- all freshmen were moved up to high schools this year in an effort to conform the district's system. Number two-that sixteen year olds are promoted even if they aren't ready to leave the eighth grade. Ready or not here they come has never been more chilling. Wilson did not have the resources to receive over two hundred more students this year- plus over fifty of them were "social promotions." (My sister thought that went out with the dinosaurs which it should have.) ( or at least with Neanderthals) How sad and scary at the same time. Like most everyone else-I found out about all this by reading the paper- certainly not from my daughter who attends Wilson. I did ask her if she was alarmed. She gave me the same have you lost your freaking mind expression that I usually get.

Over Spring Break we received word that the temporary solution would be confining students to the class rooms for lunch. My daughter's sick with a flu so yesterday when she was catching up with a school friend on our porch, I asked how much work she'd missed with AP exams coming up soon.
-Oh, nothing much her friend replied- We did nothing today.
- And yesterday- what happened? What about the lunch crack down? I asked.
She laughed. It was total chaos, she reported. They couldn't keep the students in -it was a joke.
The lunch thing only lasted a day as students planned and implemented a walk out in protest that all were being punished for the acts of a relative few.
So I asked again -how do you all manage to go to this school and not be affected by the violence every one else is talking about?
It's a big place- we know where to go and not to go, they told me in agreement of what was obvious to them.
We avoid the sketchy areas like... the cafeteria.

Out of the mouths of girls.

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