Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Where are our Piorities?

Between teaching at Garrett Morgan School of Science in Ohio City, and Max Hayes High School in the Detroit Shoreway area, I've worked in this near westside neighborhood for more than fifteen years. My adopted "hood", I've explored it's sidewalks from W.25th Street and Lorain to W.65th and Detroit Avenue.
We are a part of 'Cool Cleveland'.
Expensive townhouses are beggining to gentrify blocks of the inner-city that, only a few years ago, were the domain of the dealer. The creative class moved in, displacing the desparate and disfunctional. When the infamous Jay Hotel finally closed it's doors, the community breathed a collective sigh of releif, and we all felt a little bit safer.
Fresh facades and familiarity provide a false sense of security.

The police blotter tells a different story. Thugs and perverts continue to troll for victims. Passengers waiting at bus stops and conveinience store clerks are easy marks. We keep our eyes open as we hurry to our cars after work.

Yesterday morning two adult males came into the school lobby and robbed one of the senoir boys. They were armed with guns, took the boys shoes and some other belongings (from what I heard) and immediately left the building. We haven't been told whether or not the police have arrested anyone, or even have any leads.
Before this week, I never felt unsafe here at school. There were always plenty of security guards and a police mini-station in the building. The crisis in school funding has forced the eliminaton of most of the security staff. Word on the street is we are easy pickins now...walk right in.

When will our officials pay attention? When will the community demand safe environments for our children? The community should be outraged, yet this incident didn't even merit a mention in the news. The media was too busy gushing over the new plans to rebuild the Flats entertainment district.
Brand new condominiums, stores and restaurants will replace the old bars and night clubs.
It was announced that public money will be needed for that project.

Hmmmm...I wonder who those hard-to-get tax dollars will go to first?


estarz said...

Mary Beth,

Excellent writing once again. I never imagined the situation has gone from bad to worse!

- Ali

derek said...

This is sad.

It's downright criminal (we know it's unconstitutional but hell of a lot of good that has done) how our schools are funded. Detractors of public education say "money doesn't matter". Sadly, it does. Money pays teachers that could care a lot more if they only had 15 kids per class instead of almost double that. Fewer kids, more time with teacher. CMSD's elementary pupils can figure that out! Why can't the nimrods in Columbus (that are too busy raking in lobbyist cash to take care of real matters instead of bullshit like Senate Bill 9) get it?

I wish more teacher like you spoke out...it inspires me to keep wanting to become one.


Anonymous said...

Well as an outside observer, the situation with the District looks like a conspiracy against the children. It doesn't have not so much to do with the state, but with the mismanagement of funding internally within Central Adminerstation. Until there's more accountability, there will be no change in conditions for falcuty or students unfortunately.

derek said...


You could be right about the conspiracy against children but Cleveland Municipal is graduating more students now than a few years ago. The admin is not doing as badly as previous have. The state is creating "competition" in a field that shouldn't have any. There should be great schools for all, not those who choose this school or that school. School inequity pits neighborhoods and cities against each other while companies like Wal-Mart rob everyone blind while their attention is distracted.