Terrorized TeachersA veritable epidemic of school violence.
Joseph Annunziata and Neil Simonelli never did like their old math teacher anyhow. So one day two months ago they went back to their high school and smoked in a washroom, just to be annoying. When the teacher reprimanded them and sent them packing, they got sore. Presently they returned to the school with a revolver and shot the math teacher in the back. He died in his blood on the floor of the school corridor. On such evidence the two boys were last week sent to Sing Sing for 50 years.
This incident is only a climax in a reign of terror for New York City teachers. Recently teachers have had their eyes blackened by students, been hit by rocks, pelted with blackboard erasers. One girl has struck at least nine teachers, who are forbidden to lift a finger (though a male teacher risked his job to trounce a boy who had insulted a woman teacher). In a single day in a Bronx junior high school, two teachers were beaten, another's automobile was smashed.
The basic trouble, says Director Caroline Zachry of New York City's Bureau of Child Guidance, is not in the schools but in the children's insecure homes. Many children no longer have any respect for either their parent's authority or that of their foster parents, the teachers.
"Insubordination began to get bad about ten years ago when relief came in," observed a Bronx truant officer last week. "The parents have come to lean on the Federal Government, on the city, on the schools and social workers - they've lost their own feeling of responsibility and think it's other people's job to look after them and their kids."
The title of the article "Terrorized Teachers."
Publication? Time magazine.
Date? December 14, 1942.