Wednesday, February 15, 2012

The LuLac Edition #1946, February 15th, 2012



The recent violence in the Wilkes Barre Heights near GAR High School has certainly garnered a lot of news coverage and commentary. Last week, the "Blog-father" wrote a very interesting post on his site about the violence. In his piece, Mark Cour writes about the changing demographics of our region and what he sees first hand. For those of us who grew up in neighborhoods where we had nothing to prove because everybody was in the same boat economically, this is an eye opener. We also had the luxury (although we didn't regard it as such back then) of having many sets of eyes on us making sure we weren't wielding any type of weaponry, let alone a machete. Here are his thoughts:

Circumlocution for Dummies

Intemperate musings

A big city school in a small city.
Accepting the premise that white people are inherently racist, I’ve long maintained that the white folks are the least intense and not near as all-encompassing as the multitudes of other racist ethnicities. Students, parents: Racial tensions sparked machete attack near GAR A long-simmering battle for racial supremacy at a Wilkes-Barre high school precipitated the nearby machete attack Thursday that nearly cost a 15-year-old student his hand as he swung his arm to block another boy from a potentially fatally blow, according to students and parents whose children attend the school. The attack - minutes after dismissal on a street corner across from the GAR Junior/Senior High School property - was the most brazen and visible manifestation so far of the tension between Dominican students and black students at the school. It put parents and students on edge and compelled school officials and police to dramatically increase security. Two weeks ago, while working at a public housing project within walking distance of GAR, I bent over to pick up what I thought was a shiny quarter lying on the sidewalk. Nope, not my lucky day. What I swooped up was 10 pesos which were minted in Republica Dominicana. And my first thought was about how the demographics have been blown all to hell. Oops! I meant, corrected. I figure not many people can make this claim save for the police and paramedics, but I have and will continue to spent untold hours in all three of the public housing projects that serve as feeders for GAR. Just a few years ago, that number was four. While it’s not necessarily the fault of the kids who are mostly products of their less than ideal environments, do not listen for a second to anyone who claims that acts of random violence are the fault of teachers, administrators or the school district’s upper management. While very many of the staff probably deeply care about the general welfare of the students they are entrusted with, there are probably just as many that are relieved they didn’t have to shield somebody else from an incoming machete. While the warring ethic groups seek dominance, the staff might be content to just get home in one piece. The way I see it, you can’t paint a masterpiece atop a piece of frayed burlap. You can try, but you ought not feel deflated when you fail. I’ve mentioned how my daughter coached varsity sports at GAR. I told you how she put everything she had into turning a perennial doormat into a competitive squad, something she accomplished before setting off to finish her college years. And I made mention of the fact that she spent over 1,000 of her own hard-earned dollars on “her girls.” And after she had resigned her position and coached her final game, I also reported how she had exited the gym only to find her car painted over with dog excrement. But in her case, I found the weapon of choice interesting, because I had told her about how GAR was the dumping ground of the housing projects. I basically told her that you can’t shine excrement. I begged her to reconsider and take the same position at Coughlin, all to no avail. If she was still banging her head against a wall by coaching there, how hard would she should push her girls, how demanding of them would she be, and how willing would she be to spar with outraged parents over bench time when in the back of her mind comes the swinging blade? To my Democrat friends, well, you wanted diversity and we got it. We, not you, because I’m quite certain you choose to live nowhere near it. GAR is the diversity dream on parade. It’s part Bronx, part Queens, part Camden, part Newark, part Philly, part Juvie Hall, part of all parts south of the undefended border and all parts welfare state. Anywho, based on what I’ve consistently seen and heard, and what I will assuredly continue to see and hear, I’ve concluded that GAR is gone…it’s a lost cause. For all intents and purposes, it has become a big city school in a small city. Gives a whole new meaning to “Duck & Cover,” doesn’t it? Later


At 12:54 PM, Anonymous Professor Milburn Cleaver, OPA said...

Mr. Cour, excellent paper!

For all intents and purposes, the Scranton Wilkes Barre area has become Detroit of the Northeast.
I delivered a lecture years ago on this problem via the Gort 42 blog (and I hope you all take the time to read it).
What we need as a nation to recover from this in school violence is meeting the problem with a stick and not a carrot.
Far too many high school teachers find themselves with hands tied in dealing with thugs and ingrates.
Our legal system treats juvenile deliquints as victims and not the vermin that they are.
Personally, I don't care if little, Johnny, Jose, or Jamal's daddy left before he was born. It does not give him an excuse to mug law abiding citizens and the few studious youngsters that "are" left on the Earth.
If we are to make a dent in this long nagging issue...well, we must secure more prison space and more prison time for such vile offenses that they would threaten an innocent life, regardless of the perpetrators age.
Unless we wish to live in a permanent "Blackboard Jungle", I can see no other way out.
Something to think about this morning.
Class Dismissed!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

At 7:44 PM, Blogger JimboBillyBob said...

This was quite a post by Mark Cour.

His statement that G.A.R. is a "lost cause" is intriguing because Wilkes-Barre Area is considering closing Meyers.

Those students will have to go somewhere if that happens.

The last plan I heard about (which may have changed) would send the 7th and 8th grades and part of 9th grade to G.A.R. and everyone else in grades 9-12 to Coughlin.

If it turns out there's urban-style gang warfare at G.A.R., parents of Meyer's students will not sit quietly by while their children are sent off to gangland. School Directors can kiss any votes from those parents goodbye.

It's going to get a whole lot more interesting in the months ahead.

At 8:00 PM, Blogger David Yonki said...

Jim you are correct. And hopefully that will mean the Wilkes Barre area voters won't be voting for the same usual numbskulls they always pick. It will give real candidates like Harry Haas and Kathy Grinaway a shot. Those two would have been elected anywhere else in the world except here. Maybe if there is something the voters understand, like a "special case/at risk" not sure of the terminology here kid swinging a machete at a 15 year old, it'll get their attention and not have them vote for the same tired old hacks that have been there 100 years.

At 9:04 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Harry Haas would be the worst candidate because he lied to the people Dave pure and cant lie like that and then expect people to vote you back in..i regret voting for Harry Haas and i hope the rest of the voters are done with Harry Haas as well...i know i am!

J. Pulcheski
Kingston Democrat

At 10:23 PM, Blogger David Yonki said...

Mr.Pulcheski: Thanks for reading but with all due respect, you are wrong. Harry did what he had to do because the union heads wanted to protect their position and Judge Burke hid 1.8 million dollars from the Interim County manager that was trying to hammer this out. Lay the blame where it belongs.


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