Wednesday, May 28, 2008

School Violence with Mr. Carr

All images for this piece are from the Internet

There was always a level of violence that occurred in schools where I was a student during my pre-college days. Because it was a different time, some of it was at the hands of the teachers, who did things in the ‘60s and ‘70s that a teacher could not even dream of doing now….

When I was in 8th grade science, I had Mr. Carr, who was quite old. In fact, he had taught my mother in junior high, who went to the same de facto school, PS 281 (which had recently moved into what was then known as Bensonhurst Junior High, but became Cavallaro Junior High during my second year there).

Not only was Mr. Carr old, he was quite diminutive. Standing at less than 5’5”, he always wore a white lab coat. The only other thing I remember about him physically was his hair was shock white, and he had a very neat and trim moustache.

About the second or third week into the term, he gave us a surprise test. Science, it seems, was made for pop quizzes. The next day, he passed them out. As he got to the front of the class, a huge 8th grader (I’m guessing one who had been held back a few times because he was built like a pro football player) stood up and said, “What do you mean an “F”? You better change it, motherfucker!”

Mr. Carr turned around and said, “I’m having a little trouble hearing you. Would you please come to the front of the class as say it to me again?”

The brute stormed to the front, and demanded, “I said you better change my grade mothe….” That is as far as he got. All I saw was a blur as Mr. Carr picked up this guy who was taller and seemed to weigh twice his mass, and slammed him down flat on the ground so hard, the floor reverberated.

Mr. Carr put his finger in the student’s face and said, “Show some respect for your elders.” He then ordered the guy to the principal’s office, and he meekly went.

As it turns out, Mr. Carr was a high level black belt, and about once a year or so, he needed to show his capabilities.

After that, NO ONE messed with Mr. Carr.