Steven Singer: A Moment of Silence for Michael Brown

Diane Ravitch's blog

Steven Singer knew that he had to say something the day after the grand jury verdict in Ferguson. He looked out at his students, mostly black and brown, and asked for a moment of silence.

In that moment, they and he understood one another.

“So we bowed our heads in silence.

I’ve never heard a sound quit like this emptiness. Footsteps pattered in the hall, an adult’s voice could be heard far away giving directions. But in our room you could almost hear your own heart beating. What a lonely sound, more like a rhythm than any particular note of the scale.

“But as we stood there together it was somehow less lonely. All those solitary hearts beating with a single purpose.”

There was one question he could not answer:

“One boy asked me, “Why does this keep happening, Mr. Singer?””

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About @NatM4Equity

The National Mobilization for Equity is a coalition of organizations committed to alleviating the present staffing crisis in higher education: three-quarters of the teaching jobs in American colleges are held by underpaid, precarious and poorly-supported contingent faculty. Our long-term goal is to end contingency as the norm. The current untenable situation not only adversely affects all faculty members, both contingent and tenure-track, it also negatively impacts our profession, our students and the quality of their education.

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