My initial job was a teacher of 8th grade in an all boys junior high school in Harlem where I was placed in charge of a class of boys who other teachers would not allow in their classrooms. My main issue was to ensure the boys remained in the classroom, learned, and were prevented to do harm to others because if they did, it would result in them winding up in a reform school. On several occasions, I had to pin a boy to the floor in order to prevent him from leaving the room. The boys knew that I cared and using physical violence to PREVENT violence was in their best interests. The boys always supported my actions because they knew if their fellow student left the room it would result in going to jail. I hail the effort of Mark Black who used physical RESTRAINT to prevent Blair Moore from leaving his classroom. Moore was charged with attacking a school official, having drugs and in possession of a box cutter.
The initial reaction of Superintendent Lyon was to suspend Mr. Black, but after a wonderful campaign by students which attracted 17,000 supporters the suspension was voided. Ms. Sandra Lyon admitted her action “caused great harm.” It is the responsibility of teachers to use physical force to PREVENT HARM TO THEIR STUDENTS.