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The Teachers' Lounge

First Day of School: End of 7th Period

Announcement Chimes: “Pardon the interruption. Students, we want to, again, welcome you back to the new school year. Thank you for being patient throughout the day with the many hiccups in schedules and other obstacles that we had today. As we move forward this week, our guidance team will be working hard to get the kinks out. Teachers, remember to escort your students out at dismal. Let’s all continue to show the Jaguar Pride. Have a great day!

The bell rings a few minutes later. The hallways are crowded with students and teachers.

“Are you getting in the fray?” Miller yells over the noise at Black.

“No! I’m waiting till the end of this train.”

Miller held her thumbs up, signaling that she too would wait.

As the last students passed by, the two joined the rest of the teachers pushing the students off campus.

“How was your day?” Miller questioned as they walked down the stairs.

“It was hilarious trying to pronounce all of them crazy names. What has gotten into these parents?”

“I know, right? Why are we putting apostrophes in names?”

“Here comes Abriam,” Black pointed.

“Hola chicas! How was your day?”

“We were talking about these babies’ names and how crazy sounding they are,” Miller offered.

“Oh! Dios mío! (my gosh!) I have this one girl named Don’Javanatae.”

“Spell it! I bet it has an apostrophe!” Miller snarked.

“It does! Oh! Dios mío!”

“See, why? Why Jesus!”

Black laughed, “That’s nothing. One of my students is named Calherniesha.”

“What the… wait? Say it again?” Miller gasped.


“Like Call-Her-Niesha?”

“Yes! That’s what I did in class to make sure I did not get the name messed up!”

“I’m done. I’m done. Her mother is, for sure, from the hood, hood. Like in the depths of the ghetto,” Miller threw up her hands. “She is not thinking this girl will do anything but ask do you want fries with that.”

Black agreed, then went on to tell the ladies that is basically what they talked about in the class. How names have meaning, destiny, and purpose attached to them. Going around the room, Black asked each student where they see themselves after graduation. She did not want to single out Calherniesha, who she really wanted to know what she had planned for her life.

“What did Call-Her-Niesha say she wanted to do? I bet it’s nothing in the corporate or professional world,” Miller sounded pissed as she phonetically pronounced the girl’s name.

“Tattoo artist. The girl can draw her butt off. That’s about all she did today. No matter what we were talking about or doing. She was doodling away.”

“At least she will make some decent money, especially if she is as good of an artist as you say she is,” Abriam added.

The women had gotten so engrossed in their conversation that the sounding of whistles in the distance went unnoticed at first. However, the mob of students running towards the front gate of the school caught their attention.

“Where are they running to and why are they ru… look?” Miller gestured toward a growing crowd of people fighting right outside the school’s gate.

Whistles and blowing horns were sounded off as the huge fight continued to grow.

“That’s my cue to get my things and leave,” Black turned around and hurried off.

“You don’t want to stay and watch, chica?”

“It’ll be on the news later this evening,” Black remarked as she threw up her hand to wave, continuing back to her classroom.

“She’s right. I’m out too” Miller followed suit.


Breaking News: “A gang-related fight happened right outside the gates of Genesis High,” the reporter announced. “Sources say members of Lox Division and Cross Coast Crip gangs were involved. The school had just dismissed for the first day of class when the fight broke out.”

Black’s phone alerted her that she had a new text message. It was Tennison. She had created a group text with Abriam and Miller.

Tennison: Y’all see the news? A gang fight they say.

Abriam: Yeah! One of the students from last year sent me a video.

Abriam inserted the video of the fight into the group text. It showed a chaotic scene of students running to the fight. The way the person holding the phone was running and jumping around, you felt like you were getting dizzy trying to watch the video. Then she sent a second video.

Abriam: Here’s another one, someone just sent me.

This video was a bit steadier. It showed several people fighting. Administrators were trying to break up the fight, but they were getting overwhelmed by the number of people attempting to get a lick in. Around the bigger group of fighters, several smaller fights ignited. The person filming the video kept backing up, “I don’t want to get hit,” you can hear them say.

Miller: Sad, truly sad

Abriam: Black said that we will see it on the news.

Tennison: They always report what happens near an all-black school. That fight may not have anything to do with any of our students, but it will, by the time the news stations get finished telling the story.

Black: Nothing like a good ole’ fight to welcome you back to the new school year. Happy first day of school ladies!

Tennison: (laughing emoji) you are crazy!

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