In Between the World and Me, Ta-Nehisi Coates writes that the “laws of school” were aimed at something vague and then goes on to reveal precisely what the laws of school for black boys and girls were for. What are the “laws” of Rose’s Catholic school? What are the laws aiming to teach? To what degree are they teaching similar things as the laws at the schools Coates attended? What’s different?
For Coates when he was learning to read and write in school learning these things were so much more than learning new skills. School for people in these neighborhoods were more than a place to learn but as an escape from their reality that they were living in and another way to protect themselves from the streets. Learning these new skills helped the students better discipline to their bodies and even though it felt all new and strange to him there was benefits in the end. He questioned himself why he was in this classroom learning things that may not have mattered but it was to protect him from his own reality and what he faced everyday living in baltimore. In Rose’s article he talks aboiut how school was an osasis for students to get away from the reality they werre living. Gis school wasn’t as bad as coate’s was but there were still fights between gang members and students. In the article Rose’s says how his teachers werer striched and very stern with their students. He talks about “Physical education was also pretty harsh. Our teacher was a stubby X Lyman who had played old-time pro ball in the midwest. He repeatedly had us grabbing our ankles to receive his stinging paddle across the butt. He did that he said to make men of us.”The teachers would use disipline to make them men even when they were young. They were ecxpected to also take placement tests to see where they belonged and thats what your education was depended on.