Saturday, August 20, 2011

The Interview

Last week I experienced the chance of an interviewer's life time, an interview with ninety-four year old Benjamin Horack. I met him through a friend who promised me he would delight and entertain as much as he would inform. She was right.

Benjamin Horack argued in front of the Supreme Court in a landmark case, Swann vs. Charlotte Mecklenburg Board of Education. Click here for more information about it. Mr. Horack might be over ninety years old, but he hasn't lost one bit of the fiesty spirit I can imagine he presented as he stood before nine supreme court justices. He told me about that day, about the time limit and the green, yellow, red stoplight thirty minute timer, about the questions he answered and his argument back.

He maintained that bussing children from their own neighborhoods was unnatural and would break down the fiber of community. Forty years later he still believes it even though the Supreme Court unanimously disagreed with him.

How would this apply to Pilot Mountain School, he asked? Community, I answered.

Bussing was not a part of the federal compliance plan in the county where this school was located. Freedom of choice within zones was. His perspective was big city. Mine was rural. He recognized community as the number one force in a child's school life. I did too, especially in what I heard about Pilot Mountain School. 

This school just didn't teach the children. It raised the children. Two different things.

Catch of the day,


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