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Excerpt from Oral History Interview with Burnis Hackney, February 5, 2001. Interview K-0547. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) See Entire Interview >>

Nurturing at Lincoln gives way to achieving at Chapel Hill High School

"The focus definitely shifted" after integration, recalls Hackney, from personal development to academic achievement. In other words, the school philosophy Hackney grew accustomed to at Lincoln High School gave way to the extant philosophy at Chapel Hill High School, which was less nurturing and more focused on individual academic accomplishment. As he thinks of his daughter, a CHHS student at the time of the interview, Hackney hopes that this colder atmosphere may thaw with the hiring of a liaison to minority students.

Citing this Excerpt

Oral History Interview with Burnis Hackney, February 5, 2001. Interview K-0547. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) in the Southern Oral History Program Collection, Southern Historical Collection, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Full Text of the Excerpt

BG: You came from a school where there was a strict discipline, where life seemed to be fairly well regulated, there was some kind of a dress code, I take, from what others have told me, and a certain kind of behavior expected. Did this change when you got to Chapel Hill High School? BH: The focus definitely shifted, and I see the same thing today. I have a daughter that teaches within the system, and I’ve got a daughter that’s a sophomore at Chapel Hill High. The focus shifted and it’s more about academic accomplishment than it is about personal development. It’s basically that you have to achieve academically and it’s laissez faire, you get what you get. There’s nobody there really trying to cram it down your throat, there’s nobody trying to really make sure that you get it although I think maybe some of the latest developments and more emphasis has been placed on achievement. How do you have achievement if you’re not promoting a person and you’re not taking a personal interest in the individual? I see this as the way it’s going. Hopefully this new direction that the school system is taking with the addition of the--. I don’t know what the person’s title is but he’s there to promote achievement among minority students. BG: There’s also been something in the paper recently about teaching values again in the school system. Have you read any of that or what are your feelings about that? BH: Well, it seems as though the battle had been fought on that but that’s always been a controversy is the school a place for values? Traditionally yes, but today no, but now you say that the discussion has been reopened and been revisited. Ours are with the problem that have been had with the system and with the lag in achievement of a large segment of the school population and you would never attend to revisit some things. Personally, you’re asking--. You can teach values but you have to be very careful about it. You can’t be too successful with it, I don’t think.