There are many things in Goodman Chapter 1 that caught my attention. The text first brings up the EVC and the documentary workshop that the students are a part of. The most interesting thing to me about this is the topics they chose. Things like police brutality, youth crime, imprisonment, racial profiling, the prison system. I am writing about this because I think it is absolutely crazy that we live in the same community yet my topics for a documentary wouldn’t even be close to these. It makes you appreciate how much you have and all the privilege we have. My topics would include, stress from school, going on to grad school stress, etc. Things like that. And it is beyond crazy that inner city students might not even have the change to go to school. So my stresses, which I would make a documentary about, don’t even compare to the stress and duress that people living in poverty are under. I just think it is really important to understand this dichotomy and difference.
As mentioned previously, people living in poverty deal with so many problems. Homelessness, incarceration, teen parenthood, drug and alcohol addictions. The crazy thing is that our society has put even more pressure on inner city teenagers through punishing them more harshly. These students and children need role models and support. The problem is that the support is supposed to be from the schools but the schools don’t provide this. We, as a society, are denying these kids the necessary told to develop literacy, ultimately causing them to lose their voice. The statistics on page 25 are mind blowing. Goodman writes about this zero tolerance policy that schools have. Tolerance and patience are what these kids need. The whole system is flawed and messed up.
I don’t really want to speak much about how inner city children are consumers, so instead I will talk about the school system. Goodman writes “speaking for themselves about their own lives and experiences, inner-city youth offer an important alternative perspective”. This is the most important thing. The fact that we can learn so much through the inner city youth. Their needs to be this reciprocal relationship. In regards to the school system, there is little progress to improve literacy skills and learning opportunities. I mean, in 2018 you’d think there would be opportunity upon opportunity upon opportunity. In my poverty class we read a piece about how schools are more than just places to learn. They are communities, safe houses. In inner city communities, schools are not like this. Students lose their voice in these schools.
As my last though, I want to share a story of my friend who worked in a low income school district. She worked with 10 students of color who live just above the poverty line. The stories she tells me about the teacher of the class are insane. She wouldn’t show up consistently, was on her phone, was not tolerant (common theme), did not give the students opportunities. The students ultimately lost their perspective and voice due to all the things the teacher did.
In the end, there are a ton of problems I mentioned that are very important to consider. As you can tell, Goodman really gets me going. Although this blog post appears to have many ideas, the takeaways include, the difference between a person of privilege and one with nothing, zero tolerance policies, and a flawed education system for inner city children.