In the name of creating fewer prisons and more schools Bryan Proffitt, a teacher and his friend Dawn, an ex-cop marched 20-miles during a hot North Carolina summer to meet with a governor who wouldn't give them the time of the day. "I marched 2 days in the North Carolina summer heat to go see this Governor about what he’s doing to my kids and their communities and make some demands. I marched over 20 miles to meet the man who was denying my people what they deserve. He refused to meet with us. He refuses to recognize the crisis our state’s young people are in."
As a result of the governor's cold shoulder, Proffitt and his group chose to sit down in the streets of Raleigh, as a final say to the way children and education are being overlooked in North Carolina. In the end Proffitt and his supporters got arrested, booked, and charged. While in jail, Bryan took notes and after his short time served he wrote a very moving post about his overall experience, how his African-American students motivated him, and how he perceives his place in the system based on the color of his own skin.
"My mama had to see this mugshot. It was hard on her. I imagine that one of the most basic hopes a mother has is the one where she never has to see her son’s mugshot. And if she does have to, I imagine she hopes that her son looks a little less upset.
I thought about her when they took it. I thought about her and I thought about all of the people who would undoubtedly see it. My former students would see it. My educator colleagues would see it. Thousands of people I’ll never know would see it on the internet and TV."
"A smile might have allowed for more effective communications strategies later. The reason I couldn’t muster it, however, is the same exact reason that I was in there in the first place. As they loaded us into a police van, I could hear Freddie Gray’s body banging around in my head.
As we got to the station, I watched a 16-year-old who could have been any kid I ever taught being taken out of a police car, alone and scared."
"As I watched my co-conspirators be taken into search rooms, I thought about the vicious sexual assault that NYPD officers committed against Abner Louima. As I watched my friend Carrol, who needs a cane to get around, be asked to walk across a room on her own with no support until one of her team stepped in to provide it or demanded that the police do it, I thought about what it must be like to be there alone and have health problems.
As I watched my comrade Kristin nearly pass out until she got access to her inhaler, I thought about my former co-worker Vicki’s son, and how he died in jail because he couldn’t get medical attention. As I talked with the funny kid who connected with everybody in there at least once and reminded me, Woody, and Donald of a kid that we have in at least every class, I thought about the tragedy of wasted potential."