'It's not my job to love my pupils - it's my job to teach them.'
7:33 PM

Below is an article that appeared in the New York Times, 1 August 1967. We reproduce it in its entirety because it includes several of the reasons that so many people now reaching adulthood would be unable to adapt to new conditions.


Lack of Communication is Called Crux of Problem by 10 Teenagers.

Views are challenged
Some of the 150 Instructors in Audience Walk Out in Heated Exchange

Ten teenagers told a group of teachers yesterday that going to some schools was 'worse than no education at all' because of racial discrimination, narcotics and other classroom problems.

'You aren't going to like this,' 15-year-old Cynthia Smith said, as she began to describe the 'behave yourself or get out' method of discipline in the junior high school. About 150 teachers were listening in the auditorium of the Sarah J. Hale High School in Brooklyn. Some of the teachers challenged the teenagers' complaints. Several young women, murmuring, 'I can't take this any longer', left shortly after Deputy Mayor Timothy W. Costello appeared at the session. A school official asked Fran Defren, a neighborhood poverty worker, to change the topic 'so that this won't disintegrate into a shouting match'.

The teenagers, many of them high school dropouts who now work for the South Brooklyn Community Progress Center, the local arm of the poverty program, had asked Board of Education officials to arrange the meeting. They contended that the cause of most classroom problems was an 'almost total' lack of communication between teenagers and adults.

More Talking Urged

The teachers don't want to communicate with us: 18-year old Louis Gelomino said, 'But they should. A long talk is much more effective than just testing a failing student aside and saying, "You have two 65's and three 40's, and it looks bad for you".'

Dave Hamilton, 15 complained that the only time he heard his principal's voice was over his school's loudspeaker system. The principal goes into his office every morning and says into the microphone, "Junior High School 51 is the best",' Dave said, 'and he knows that's a lie.

Some of the teachers, however, blamed the youths for not trying hard enough to communicate 'Every time I try to talk to a student he gives me the brush off,' a young Puerto Rican teacher said.

'You have to keep searching in South Brooklyn: Louis Gelomino answered. 'You'll find a few responsive ones. This area may be physically repugnant to you, but a lot of the people are beautiful.

'I think a lot of the trouble comes from a lack of love between students and teachers,' 19-year-old George McLauehlin added.

'It's not my job to love my pupils - it's my job to teach them,' a teacher shouted back.

Discrimination Charged

The panel - made up of Negro, Puerto Rican and white teenagers - cited racial discrimination as another problem. Cynthia Smith told the teachers, about 95 per cent of whom are white, that only two teachers in Junior High School 10 were Negro.

'There are four,' came a voice from the audience.

Jerrold Glassman, a former principal at the school, said that three of about 70 teachers there are Negro. The school will be replaced by Intermediate School 88 this fall.

Joe Castagna, 18, complained about methods of discipline. 'I had a chemistry teacher at John Jay High School who made unruly kids sit in the back of the room and read comic books. If you read comic books until the end of the term, you passed,' he said.

Isador Auerbach, principal of John Jay until last September, when asked about the chemistry teacher, said, 'I'm sure nothing like that has ever gone on.'

Late, over turkey sandwiches and pickles in the school lunchroom, many teachers conceded they knew their students problems, but were unable to help them.

'Many students get angry, but when it happens in the classroom there's no place to talk,' said Alaine Mitchell, a teacher at Junior High School 142.

Other teachers complained that time they wanted to spend with students was taken up with 'needless' paper work.

A middle-aged teacher, who declined to give her name, commented that parochial schools were above having problems.

'In the parochial schools: she said. 'If we have a problem child, we threaten him with public school. They shape up.'

from 'Teaching As A Subversive Activity' by Neil Postman & Charles Weingartner


tea with sugar gives me the cramps