A teacher learns about prison customs and terminology from his fifth-grade Hispanic students. Diversity at its finest, not to mention a portent of the nation`s future!
Every Friday my class reads a newspaper. The light went on one day in my dull mini-cranium about two minutes into the lesson. The kids knew lots of words I didn`t know, such as: sally port, non-contact visit and CO. We were reading an article about prison. Did I mention that my students are fifth-graders? That means they are 9 and 10 years old, mostly Latinos. All of them are sweet like chocolate, cute to the max, and wise to the bone ... about certain things."What`s a sally port?" I asked."Oh, teacher," replied Carla. "That`s the wire cage room thing you have to go in to get into the prison."Another kid chimed in his Michoacan accent. "But there are two of them.""Two of what?" I asked, completely clueless.Carla answered, "Them wire cage room things. You have to go through two of them." She stared at me with huge, deep black eyes.[Sally Port, Potty Patrol, and Extraction, By Paul Karrer, San Francisco Chronicle, Sunday, June 1, 2008]
An informal survey, "Heads down on desk, no looking"
style, showed that eleven of his 28 fifth-graders had visited incarcerated relatives