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Excerpt from Oral History Interview with Willa V. Robinson, January 14, 2004. Interview U-0014. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) See Entire Interview >>

Post-integration decline of public schools

Although Robinson thinks that integration was a success, she thinks that schools have deteriorated since then. The culprit is teachers' lack of investment in the lives of their students.

Citing this Excerpt

Oral History Interview with Willa V. Robinson, January 14, 2004. Interview U-0014. 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

MM: So how do you feel about integration now looking back on it? Is it a success? Is it a failure? What would you say about it? WR: I feel like integration is a success, but I feel like our educational system has deteriorated because during my time teachers were dedicated. I mean they were dedicated. They would go to all kinds of lengths to make sure that that child succeeded, and I’m sure that we still have some with that same frame of mind, but the majority is, it’s a job. Like I got to work this morning. I do so, and so, and so. When I get off, forget it. I’m done with it. And you can’t do that if you want to really be an educator. An educator’s got to be with it 24/7. That’s my thought. But, yeah, I don’t see anything that went wrong with the integration, it’s just the attitudes of the faculties that we have nowadays. MM: That’s something that affects you no matter what race you are or class. WR: It doesn’t matter because if that teacher is dedicated she’s going to let you know if something’s going on with your child. The reason I said that, it wasn’t me but a couple of folk that lived in back of me had children in school at Purnell Swett, and they didn’t even know their child had been in-school suspension for two long weeks. And they didn’t even know it, and the child failed. That was how they found out. And what happened is, they didn’t send her a note home. The child’s in high school so they figured the child is supposed to go home and tell the parents. Now, you know, any child that knows that their parent is on their case is not going to go home and tell them bad news. What’s wrong with making a phone call? If you can’t travel make a phone call to that parent, and tell them, “Your child is suspended. They’re coming to school every day, but they’re in in-school suspension for the next two weeks.” What’s wrong with that? But they don’t do that. You child can be in in-school suspension and out, and you don’t know nothing about it unless that child so desires to tell you. And I feel like that’s up to the faculty to let the parent know. And that’s the difference in the new school and the old school. The old school, the teacher came to your house. The principal came to your house, bar none. And if you did something wrong in school, you know who brought you home? The principal.