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Defund the Police

I learned a basic lesson more than three score and seven years ago that taught me the importance of having someone in authority who could enforce basic rules and laws. It was in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred and fifty-four. I was in the second grade at Ellicott Elementary, the school that served some of the kids from the cities of Chickasaw and Prichard, Alabama.

How can I remember something from so long ago and not recall why I left one room and went into another room today?

It was a beautiful fall morning. We had been inside studying when our teacher, Mrs. Pearce, asked, “Who would like to take recess now and go outside for a little while?”

Of course, all thirty classmates raised their hands and shouted in unison, “Me.”

In just a moment, we were lining up to march, in order, to the playground.

Recess was always one of my best subjects. Some days, Mrs. Pearce would lead us with an organized activity like dodge ball or baseball. Other days, she would let us play anything that we wanted, as long as, we got along. Today was the later.

We were all playing and having fun when someone came from inside and summoned Mrs. Pearce to the office. She asked us if we should go in with her, or could we continue playing together peacefully. We all shouted, “We will be good.”

Mrs. Pearce was probably gone only five minutes when one of the kids started fussing with another, and in only a very few more minutes the fight started. The ruckus that ensued was loud enough to get the attention of the classes that weren’t at recess. In a couple of minutes, there were three teachers from other classes on the field and shouting for us to calm down.

Mrs. Pearce was not happy when she returned to the commotion that was just getting under control by the other teachers.

Needless to say, Mrs. Pearce never left us unsupervised on that field again. If someone wanted her somewhere else, either she told them it can wait or she made us all go back inside to our classroom, and recess would be over.

What I learned from that experience was that the disobedience of a few often meant the revoking of privileges for all.

In later school years, the teachers would appoint monitors to remind us to stay in line or they would report any disruptive behavior to her when she returned. These monitors functioned as policers for our class, but at least we retained some privileges.

Most of us do well when left to interface with others however, when someone decides to go against norms or rules, we often require a third party to remind us to be aware of the boundaries of others around us. We must respect everyone else or problems will arise.

Consider the old west that most of us have seen depicted in movies. Many of the men carried guns and, at times, they settled their differences in a good old-fashioned gunfight. Men like Marshall Matt Dillon functioned as the primary law enforcer and kept the town functioning for everyone else. He kept the peace.

These simple truths are why we need law enforcement personnel to maintain civilized communities.

2 thoughts on “Authority

  1. Great memory,Wayne! It reminded me of my school days, too. On occasion it was my responsibility to be the monitor.😊👍

  2. As usual I love your writings. So thoughtful and so true. You make us realize that somewhere in our lives we all have had a “Ms. P. “ experience to which we can reflect and upon which we can relate.

    Thank you for always jogging our memories and making us THINK!!

    Your Biggest Fan!

    Linda Brantley Davis

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