This has been one of the hardest things as a teacher. One of my former students was a cop in Memphis; he is responsible for Tyre’s death.
No. I could not watch the video. My sister Twyla (who taught him for 7th grade) did and she told me not to. I always heed her advice.
I feel like one of the folks on the “IamtheMainCharacter” subreddit. This event has absolutelyl nothing to do with me and no one should pay attention to me at this time. I am emotionally involved and nothing good can come from discussion.
What I can tell everyone on this planet is that he was a good kid when I taught hin in the 8th grade. He was my class clown, but he was also one of those kids that if you give them a job, they will rise and perform. If memory serves me, he was my “emergency” line leader. Every month at the middle school, we would have a fire drill. They planned them so that every period and every time slot was covered (since kids are all throughout the school during the day, they need to know for each location they go).
My emergency bag was HEAVY. It had a gallon of water, puzzles, clipboards, pens, games, and rolls. Each period had a designatied “emergency” line leader. That person’s job was to get the emergency bag and then get to the head of the line and lead everyone in class to our safe zone in the parking lot.
He was that kind of kid; he was a helper. He also made me smile and laugh. I have not been able to watch the nightly news since I discovered he was involved as one of the cops. My only question is what happened to change him?
I have a funny feeling Memphis happened. Memphis is a rough place to live, and without the right resources, I can see how Memphis would actually be hell on Earth for a lot of folks. It is one of the most violent places I have ever worked and lived (well, next to Newport News).
I’m sorry, former student; I failed you. You were a good kid, but that city took it out of you and made you hard. It was the only way for you to survive; I get it. I still love you for that beautiful child that was in my classroom and who I know is still living deep down inside. Make peace, baby. Make your peace.
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