Clara Boone, pioneer

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When I was a child in the late 60s, a family friend, a descendent of Daniel Boone, came round one day for tea. Clara Boone was a teacher at a public school in DC. The local public schools were deteriorating in those days, kids were really tough, and the teachers were struggling to adapt.

We were sitting around an elegant little table drinking Earl Grey, when “Miss Boone” as I called her told us this horrific story, in her gentle voice: The previous week one of her middle school students, a boy of maybe 14, had cornered her in the hallway during the break between classes … unzipped his pants … and pissed on her.

The school took disciplinary measures, of course, but then… life goes on. Can you imagine having to face that class day after day? I was totally shocked by Miss Boone’s story, but her calm resolve to keep on keeping on made a huge impression on me. She was so patient, so courageous. I don’t really know how the story continued, so I wonder about it now. She went on teaching, sure. But I wonder if she really got the support she needed?

And what about the other students?


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