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Friday, August 17, 2012


9th April 2012
Dear Cassi,

        One of the events that sits ill in my gut from middle school is the one time I was given detention. The full details of the dispute I cannot recall. What I do remember is that one of the girl students sprayed something in my eyes and I, being the eleven year old fool I was, ran forward ramming into her.
        According to the state of California, to the best of my knowledge, she committed assault. Spitting on someone or making any unwanted physical contact is assault. In the eyes of the law I was defending myself. To my teachers it was a different story.
        The principal wanted to let the subject drop, but I was eager to see it resolved. She walked away ignoring me, but I followed her not permitting the issue to fall through the cracks. She had so far refused to talk to me at all about it and I was to put my words in. I had seen enough bull at school and I knew that letting things drop would never do because I would deal with them another day.
Well, if this was an issue of my being a male or that she felt folks of my skin tone had no rights I do not know. As result, I have always thought of teachers as folks with prejudice as my experience gives proof.
        You see it was I who got in trouble that day. The principal refused to even hear what I had to say. “Don’t you think that ramming into a girl is worth detention?” she said. The fact that I had been first attacked and that, if nothing else, we were both wrong never entered into the equation.
        Had my middle school been a better place this would surprise me but I knew it was a puddle of societal filth even then. In a place like that you will find a few good teachers, but only so very few as cannot stem the tides of ignorance.

Know thyself, little sister

Richard Leland Neal