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I was never a bigot before…
Posted: 29 May 2008 06:15 PM   [ Ignore ]
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... but I am becoming one and I don't like it.

I teach school, and 99% of my students are Puerto Rican. I had a few Puerto Rican friends growing up but I never really got to know anything about their culture, we all lived in an Anglo town. But now I am immersed in what passes for Puerto Rican culture in an American city.

I am so disgusted I literally want to vomit. The children come to school stoned out of their minds. They scream obscentities at each other, at the teachers, at the lunch ladies, at the janitors. The girls (and this is middle school, not high school) are so often pregnant it's astonishing, and they think it's great! And that's the least of the problems. Hand these children a book, they throw it on the floor. Pick it up for them and they spit in your hair when you bend down. Give it to them again, they stick chewing gum between the pages and then throw it at the teacher. They hit teachers. They beat each other up. They cuss and swear, the boys threaten the girls with rape just to cut into lunch line. Tell a child, "No, no, Johnny, it's not nice to threaten girls with rape," and the child will tell you, "Shut up bitch or I'll fuck you up the ass." Tell the parent, and the parent will claim you are "picking on" their child.

The whole lot and parcel of them absolutely refuse to take any responsibility, they have no sense of personal honor. Last year we tried our endeavor best to help a sixteen-year-old sixth grader progress to seventh grade. Despite his promises, he came to school about once a month, and was promoted to seventh grade anyway since he has a beard. He now comes to school once in three months - one visit was yesterday, and he was wearing an expensive sports outfit, with a gold marijuana leaf in his ear. And his parents think he's great, because he brings some of the drug money to them. He's one of the most admired young men of his neighborhood, because "schools are for fools" and he effectively managed to drop out before he ever got out of middle school.

Every day we have fights, boys, girls, we have to have two police officers and two security guards, plus two large male "deans" on site at all times. If a student hits a teacher, instead of expelling him, the administrators, likewise Puerto Rican, threaten the teacher with bad evaluations if he or she presses charges. The parents hang around school laywaiting the teacher so they can attack him or her. Last year a mother came to school to attack and immoblize her daughter's teacher, so her daughter could beat the teacher. Why? The girl failed the class, and the teacher would not pass her with a "D".

If you are not Puerto Rican, your co-workers and your bosses call you "gringa". If you are Puerto Rican and you are staff, you can break every rule, ignore the dress code, go off campus for hours without signing out, whatever. But let an Anglo, especially a female Anglo, stand up for herself and they will run you out of the school. I have been there three years, and I have seen two women quit, one because she got tired of hearing her students tell her, "you're white and we hate white people, bitch" and the other because her students one day backed her into a corner, touched her in a sexually aggressive and inappropriate manner, and the male Puerto Rican principal would do NOTHING ABOUT IT, told her to "go home and develop some strategies."

I know that the slice-of-life I am seeing does not represent ALL Puerto Ricans. But when I get home, I avoid Puerto Rican people. I never did before! But I do now. I am not saying I am right, or trying to excuse myself, or rationalize. I am only stating what has happened to my way of thinking, based on my experiences.

Peace and love,

Mambo Racine
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Posted: 29 May 2008 06:16 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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Oh, and I forgot to mention their charming habit of going into the bathroom, shitting into their hand, and then coming out and flinging the kaka, or smearing it onto the clothing of a teacher or student.

Sorry, I just had to get that out.

Mambo Racine
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Posted: 29 May 2008 06:33 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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DANG!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Where on earth do you teach? My students are angels compared to those kids of yours. They curse at each other in front of teachers and a few gets pregnant every other weekend but that's where they draw the line.

I teach at Medgar Evers in NYC public schools. The kids, for the most part, are ok compared to your horror story and others that I've heard about. Unfortunately though, my school is going down the drain. Gangs have infiltrated every grade (6 to 12) and the administrator doesn't report the incidents because we're a "model" school.

check out : http://www.teacherabuse.com to find out about my principal. lol

All in all, Mambo, don't forget why you got into the profession. That's why I'm trying to transfer out of my school.

Keep a chin up!!!!!
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Posted: 29 May 2008 06:52 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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Mambo Racine - 29 May 2008 06:15 PM
... but I am becoming one and I don't like it.

I teach school, and 99% of my students are Puerto Rican. I had a few Puerto Rican friends growing up but I never really got to know anything about their culture, we all lived in an Anglo town. But now I am immersed in what passes for Puerto Rican culture in an American city.

I am so disgusted I literally want to vomit. The children come to school stoned out of their minds. They scream obscentities at each other, at the teachers, at the lunch ladies, at the janitors. The girls (and this is middle school, not high school) are so often pregnant it's astonishing, and they think it's great! And that's the least of the problems. Hand these children a book, they throw it on the floor. Pick it up for them and they spit in your hair when you bend down. Give it to them again, they stick chewing gum between the pages and then throw it at the teacher. They hit teachers. They beat each other up. They cuss and swear, the boys threaten the girls with rape just to cut into lunch line. Tell a child, "No, no, Johnny, it's not nice to threaten girls with rape," and the child will tell you, "Shut up bitch or I'll fuck you up the ass." Tell the parent, and the parent will claim you are "picking on" their child.

The whole lot and parcel of them absolutely refuse to take any responsibility, they have no sense of personal honor. Last year we tried our endeavor best to help a sixteen-year-old sixth grader progress to seventh grade. Despite his promises, he came to school about once a month, and was promoted to seventh grade anyway since he has a beard. He now comes to school once in three months - one visit was yesterday, and he was wearing an expensive sports outfit, with a gold marijuana leaf in his ear. And his parents think he's great, because he brings some of the drug money to them. He's one of the most admired young men of his neighborhood, because "schools are for fools" and he effectively managed to drop out before he ever got out of middle school.

Every day we have fights, boys, girls, we have to have two police officers and two security guards, plus two large male "deans" on site at all times. If a student hits a teacher, instead of expelling him, the administrators, likewise Puerto Rican, threaten the teacher with bad evaluations if he or she presses charges. The parents hang around school laywaiting the teacher so they can attack him or her. Last year a mother came to school to attack and immoblize her daughter's teacher, so her daughter could beat the teacher. Why? The girl failed the class, and the teacher would not pass her with a "D".

If you are not Puerto Rican, your co-workers and your bosses call you "gringa". If you are Puerto Rican and you are staff, you can break every rule, ignore the dress code, go off campus for hours without signing out, whatever. But let an Anglo, especially a female Anglo, stand up for herself and they will run you out of the school. I have been there three years, and I have seen two women quit, one because she got tired of hearing her students tell her, "you're white and we hate white people, bitch" and the other because her students one day backed her into a corner, touched her in a sexually aggressive and inappropriate manner, and the male Puerto Rican principal would do NOTHING ABOUT IT, told her to "go home and develop some strategies."

I know that the slice-of-life I am seeing does not represent ALL Puerto Ricans. But when I get home, I avoid Puerto Rican people. I never did before! But I do now. I am not saying I am right, or trying to excuse myself, or rationalize. I am only stating what has happened to my way of thinking, based on my experiences.

Peace and love,

Mambo Racine


I'm sorry to hear you have to go thru that Mambo Racine. A lot of these kids are being brought up by parents that had them very young themselves. The cycle goes on, parents got pregnant at an early age and the kids follow. Just hold your head up high and dont let them bring you down.

Thanks for sharing and I hope things get better.
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Posted: 29 May 2008 06:59 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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Ti-Joe Gro Nen - 29 May 2008 06:33 PM
Gangs have infiltrated every grade (6 to 12) and the administrator doesn't report the incidents because we're a "model" school.


YEP! Last year, so many of our students were failing that the administration told the teachers, officially, that teachers with "too many" failing students would be forced to take "mandatory professional development classes" (on their own time at their own expense, of course) because they were "failing to correctly motivate students." Needless to say, everyone passed with a "D" except the kids who never actually come to school. And then the administrators crowed in the newspapers about their "success rate".

It's DISGUSTING. When I was in grade school, I thought teachers lived in Heaven. If one of them deigned to notice me and say "Good morning," that was an honor. I once saw a teacher in a grocery store and was surprised that they ate food like mere mortals.

And these children I teach are not just-off-the-boat-from-PangoPango, they are not nomadic pastoralists who never saw a pencil! They have televisions, they know what life is. Not only do they not aspire to college, they categorically reject it because "schools are for fools" and they plan to make their money dealing dope and prostituting. Two boys fought over their mothers' prostituion activites, not because one boy called the other boy's mother a whore, but because he claimed that his own mother was a BETTER WHORE WHO MADE MORE MONEY, and this slur against his mother was intolerable to the other boy.

Ask them, "What are you going to do when you can't get a job and you've been arrested for dope dealing twice already?"

"We'll come to where you live and take everything!" And if they could, they would.

The other day, a girl in my class raised her hand.

"Yes, honey?" I responded.

"Miss - you're ugly! Did you know you're ugly? Your hair is ugly. Your clothes are ugly." (I wear normal professional garb, but my female students generally come to school in jeans tight enough to be sprayed-on, cut down to the pubic hair, shirts cut up to the breasts and down to the nipples, seventeen earrings, a half-pound of makeup, and hair piled two feet high and glued in place with a half-quart of setting gel...)

"Your face is ugly, you have fish lips. Who would want to make a baby with a thing like you? Are you a virgin, miss? I bet you are, who could like you?"

I told the young lady to shut her mouth and open her book, that her nonsense wasn't going to be tolerated. She leaped out of her seat and stuck her acrylic fingernails, two inches long and painted each one a different color, in my EYES. "You can't tell me what to do, bitch! Not even my mother can, I'll slap the shit out of that bitch too!"

I swear I am not making this up.

Peace and love,

Mambo Racine
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Posted: 29 May 2008 07:04 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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manbo racine,
Hold on there........you'll find a diamond within those kids. Where in mass are you teaching? I have heard a lot of haitians who had their primary and secondary school done in haiti criticise the u.s system due to the same things you talked about. Unfortunately, i think a lot of the occurences you described need to be discussed with the local law enforcement authorities. If i was to step into that school and do the same thing these kids are doing, i would be arrested within seconds with no questions asked.
It's now the end of may..........you have the summer break to look forward to.
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neg natif natal lavale, jacmel.

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Posted: 29 May 2008 07:06 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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Mambo Racine - 29 May 2008 06:59 PM
Ti-Joe Gro Nen - 29 May 2008 06:33 PM
Gangs have infiltrated every grade (6 to 12) and the administrator doesn't report the incidents because we're a "model" school.


YEP! Last year, so many of our students were failing that the administration told the teachers, officially, that teachers with "too many" failing students would be forced to take "mandatory professional development classes" (on their own time at their own expense, of course) because they were "failing to correctly motivate students." Needless to say, everyone passed with a "D" except the kids who never actually come to school. And then the administrators crowed in the newspapers about their "success rate".

It's DISGUSTING. When I was in grade school, I thought teachers lived in Heaven. If one of them deigned to notice me and say "Good morning," that was an honor. I once saw a teacher in a grocery store and was surprised that they ate food like mere mortals.

And these children I teach are not just-off-the-boat-from-PangoPango, they are not nomadic pastoralists who never saw a pencil! They have televisions, they know what life is. Not only do they not aspire to college, they categorically reject it because "schools are for fools" and they plan to make their money dealing dope and prostituting. Two boys fought over their mothers' prostituion activites, not because one boy called the other boy's mother a whore, but because he claimed that his own mother was a BETTER WHORE WHO MADE MORE MONEY, and this slur against his mother was intolerable to the other boy.

Ask them, "What are you going to do when you can't get a job and you've been arrested for dope dealing twice already?"

"We'll come to where you live and take everything!" And if they could, they would.

The other day, a girl in my class raised her hand.

"Yes, honey?" I responded.

"Miss - you're ugly! Did you know you're ugly? Your hair is ugly. Your clothes are ugly." (I wear normal professional garb, but my female students generally come to school in jeans tight enough to be sprayed-on, cut down to the pubic hair, shirts cut up to the breasts and down to the nipples, seventeen earrings, a half-pound of makeup, and hair piled two feet high and glued in place with a half-quart of setting gel...)

"Your face is ugly, you have fish lips. Who would want to make a baby with a thing like you? Are you a virgin, miss? I bet you are, who could like you?"

I told the young lady to shut her mouth and open her book, that her nonsense wasn't going to be tolerated. She leaped out of her seat and stuck her acrylic fingernails, two inches long and painted each one a different color, in my EYES. "You can't tell me what to do, bitch! Not even my mother can, I'll slap the shit out of that bitch too!"

I swear I am not making this up.

Peace and love,

Mambo Racine



I know this is off topic but "the wire" did an excellent job last season going into the problems of the inner city school system. Just my opinion.
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Posted: 29 May 2008 07:08 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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CON'LAN'GET!!!!!!
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Posted: 29 May 2008 07:10 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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And I will go farther!

We all know how schools are in Haiti, I don't say they are the best. But there is one very good thing about real Haitian schools - you act the fool, you get your butt whipped.

Jamaica too! I taught in Jamaica for a while, at an all-boys school. When the students came to school in the morning they were in uniform, and they were met at the gate by a matron, who had in her hand a comb and a stick. That comb had better just fly through your nappy little head, those shoes better be polished, those pants better be creased - or you get sent home for the whole day, and if you miss a test, you get a zero. Argue and you get the stick.

Once you get into the classroom, you don't enter until the teacher arrives. When the teacher arrives you enter and stand by your desk, or if by some miracle the class was allowed into the classroom and seated by someone else, when the teacher arrives you spring to your feet and chorus "Good morning, miss!" And you don't sit down until the teacher says, "Class, you may be seated."

I taught in Jamaica and that's how it was, and those children were NOT miserable, repressed, brownbeaten, unhappy sufferers, they were happy and harmonious and learning! That's because discipline had already been estabished, which is simply to say that good manners were the norm.

And to top it all off where I work now, the local liberal hippie-dippie "alternative" newspapers continually editorialize about what big racists white teachers are and how these teachers want the children to fail. I wish people who write that crap could stand and watch while the teacher gets down on her hands and knees to pick up shards of glass from deliberately broken micriscope slides, meanwhile the student spits into her hair and makes sexual gestures tantamount to actual sexual assault, or actually grabs the teacher's rump, meanwhile uttering racist invective.

I still work there but I hate it. I am applying to other schools, and honestly the whiter they are the better, at least in the USA. I will teach in an all-Haitian school in the USA if one exists, but where I am now is for the birds.
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Posted: 29 May 2008 07:40 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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tibourik - 29 May 2008 07:04 PM
manbo racine,
Hold on there........you'll find a diamond within those kids. Where in mass are you teaching? I have heard a lot of haitians who had their primary and secondary school done in haiti criticise the u.s system due to the same things you talked about.


I am so gratified by all of your responses, HaitiXChangers, thank you! And yes, tibourik.

You know, I taught in a 99% African-American school in Boston, and it was as you have described, sometimes the boys would fight, and the kids were no angels, but they were nothing like these Puerto Rican children. You know, I have two Haitian students in my school. Both speak Creole. Both are decent, family-raised, respectful boys. And both are persecuted unmercifully of course, because they do what I tell them and don't defy teachers and swear at them.

One of them, I will call him Eliphete, saw another student leave the classroom without permission. "Miss," he said to me in all innocence, "Juan is gone out."

The other boys in the class ambushed Eliphete on the playground and half-killed him. They felt they did the right thing, they had no shame or remorse. They quoted me chapter and verse from their text - "Snitches get stitches." What did they think, I'm so senile that I would not have noticed Juan had gone out?

The other Haitian boy, a little older, adopted the same demeanor as the Puerto Rican youngsters in a few weeks. He tried that in my class, and I switched into Creole and told him, "Ti salup! Se Ayisyen ou ye! Map fout ou twa kalot nan ti tet ou! Si ou konnen ou ap swiv model Panyol sa ap trase, ou fe yon gwo erreur. Map vin lakay ou, map kale ou devan papa ou. Ou ap gade m nan zye??? PA PEMET OU GADE M NAN ZYE! Ti moun ou ye! Frekan! Maledve! Fe respe ou!"

Never did I have a moment's trouble with that child again, and this year I was able to award him the Certificate of Honor from that class. He earned it! The Puerto Rican children were angry because he won it, not because they wanted it but because they wanted him to scorn and reject it. But he's one of those diamonds you mentioned, and I just love him.

I had a little girl like that too, a little white girl who was very attentive, a straight A student. One day one of my Puerto Rican boys stood up, elaborately stuck his hand down his pants and rubbed his genitals, then walked over to the girl and quite deliberately rubbed his hand on her head and face. She screamed bloody murder, the Puerto Rican girls screamed at her to shut up or they would kill her, I called the administration... and you know what? That little girl shortly did not attend our school any more, her parents took her to some other place where she could get a decent education with decent children.

But the ones who form the majority of our population, what are those children going to become? I see three destinations - hospitals, prisons, morgues. And in the meantime, I and you and other decent, gainfully employed people have to foot the bill.

We have one little darling girl, I will call her Annie. She's "developmentally disabled", she can walk and barely talk but she understands little of what is going on around her, and she will never be able to overcome her deficits, she will always need care. She's the sweetest thing, she's wilful as hell and saucy, but she's not mean or anything like that, she's just so much fun to work with even though she's all messed up and looks it.

One day I asked her personal aide what condition she was born with, that has so profoundly affected her. No, said the aide, she wasn't born that way, she was born normal. Her father did that to her, he shook Annie because he and the mother were both stoned and she was crying so he shook her until she stopped making any sound. Then the two "parents" let her stay in that condition for TWO DAYS. The father did two years and he's been out for quite a while now, the mother never did any time and she just died of AIDS and drug-abuse related complications so now the child has no parents at all.

In fact, we have many HIV postive children, and in this day and age, that means the mother did not take her meds. They don't want to go in for prenatal care because they know the blood tests will reveal their drug use, so they refuse to go and just let the baby get the virus, even though this could so easily be prevented. They don't care! We pay for the medical care and the pills for the kid, so why should the mother care? She doesn't have to work for the money to buy the pills to keep her sons and daughters alive - oh yes, plenty of these mothers have a whole string of HIV+ kids.

Today during the flag salute and moment of silence, once boy was so disrespectful that I reminded him of the people dying in Iraq. He said, "Oh, my father is there." So I said, "Well, wouldn't you like to keep a moment of silence to show respect for him and for the sacrifice he is making, so far away from you?"

"I don't care," replied my student. "Why should I care? I didn't send him to Iraq. He's stupid. He could make more money at home, he was making more money than you, miss. He didn't have to work." (Of course he was selling dope.) "He didn't have to go, he already had guns, he knows how to use them. We used to have an automatic rifle, it was cool, we kept it under the bed. He got in some trouble - the police LIED - but he got out of it. They took our gun, they didn't have any right to take our gun!"

And this child was totally sincere.

tibourik - 29 May 2008 07:04 PM
...i think a lot of the occurences you described need to be discussed with the local law enforcement authorities.


HAH! I tell you, there are two full time uniformed police officers in that school, plus other para-legal agents of the state. When those kids get sent to juvi and come back, they are local heros! They just do not care.
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Posted: 30 May 2008 09:50 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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Holly cow, This sounds like something straight out of a movie.
What do you do when you go home, this must be depressing like hell...
Good luck...
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Posted: 30 May 2008 12:15 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]
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Mambo your account sounds so horrifying! Where is this school? From your story...that doesn't seem like the normal child roughhousing and delinquent behavior that prevails in many schools; you sound as if you work in prison!
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Posted: 30 May 2008 01:29 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]
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Well Mambo, I certainly understand your situation and what also seems to have amount to resentment.
I am in a rush , but I gotta to say this on your behalf....
I am well aware of schools such as the one you have described. It may seems absurd to some , may even seems quite abonormal too... But ther's not fiction in your complaint of ths situation. I do know of schools in the Bronx , that bear the similarity. Infact I know someone who is expereicning the same at one middle school in the Bornx that fits your situation to a T, except that its poluation is not majority PuertoRicans. They have a well mixed population of mostly of mixed Hispanics and African Americans. She has reported similar absurd behaviors from the students and she's the one who'd most likely gets punished from administration; there's just no support while certain staff members seem to be well protected from whatever unprofessional things they do. It is nearly impossible to get a child suspended for their incredibly bad behaviors and most parents just don't care what their child do, but expect the teacher to give them passing grades. But she, as the teacher, is expected (Mandatory) to prove that she calls the parents of these children on the phone, even late nights, to discuss their child's bad behavior and lack of shool work. It is a very negative experience for any first year teacher who enters the ysystem with dreamy ideals on how they are going to make a difference to educate better.

Alarmingly enough though, I somehow fear that Haitian kids could also fall down very similar paths if Haitian parents fail to understand the short-comings of the current public education system and fail to get actively involved in the education of their children in and outside the school's system. I also think that those who are in a position to be influential figures at large in our society, ie: popular artists, film makers.etc... should be mindful not to help foster the type of depraved mindset that is so prevelant among many youths today. A lot of these behaviors are easily learned through television, movies, lyrics and attitudes while remaining unchecked, without common sense explanations from elders. I just can't beleive how easily these criticizing words are coming out of my thinking now, when I am still well aware that my parents generation had similar reservations towards my generation just a few years back.

Side note: Many of these school's principals who are very well aware of the poor behaviors in their own schools play a mean game. They tend to give negative observation reports very easily to their own newbie teachers in an effort to keep them from applying and flee to another school. That way many of new unhappy teachers get played in an enslavement game to continue working in their school, hoping to finally earn satisfactory obs reports to avoid possible future probelems with tenure.
[ Edited: 30 May 2008 01:42 PM by Milktree ]
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