“Cause I ain’t got a pencil” written by a student of Baltimore City Public Schools


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Comments:

13 Feb 2018 16:11 - +7550
Damn.
13 Feb 2018 16:35 - +5765
The Baltimore County school board have decided to expel Dexter from the entire public school system.
13 Feb 2018 16:30 - +3588
I damn near cried. I'm 34 and I remember mornings like this like they happened yesterday. That shit never really leaves you.
13 Feb 2018 16:48 - +2147
Lived in Baltimore City my entire life and let me tell you, REALER WORDS HAVE NEVER BEEN SPOKEN. It’s rough as a kid in this city and even rougher when you realize a good chunk of us had to deal wit shit like this on the daily. Props to this kid
13 Feb 2018 20:53 - +1339
Not a current BCPS student. Joshua Dickerson is an adult, motivational speaker, poet, author and father who happens to be a former BCPS student. This is not recent, not sure why so many people are fooled
13 Feb 2018 16:18 - +357
I came to laugh, not feel.
13 Feb 2018 17:08 - +303
This makes me want to become a teacher and make many attempts to help the youth.
13 Feb 2018 21:33 - +198
Things are not as they appear From Joshua T. Dickerson himself via Twitter > I wasn’t going to address it, but it keeps coming up on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and the internet. I’m not a student in Baltimore City Schools. It’s one of those Internet things that keeps getting shared. Outside of the fake Obama beard, I was the hottest trending fake news [Link](https://twitter.com/joshtdickerson/status/963275985654251520)
13 Feb 2018 16:31 - +165
It's tragic really. :(
13 Feb 2018 16:58 - +93
I hope this gave the teacher some perspective. This was a jolt.
13 Feb 2018 21:20 - +92
I’m a teacher in a low income neighborhood in Los Angeles. This is the day to day for some kids. It would piss me off so much when some teachers would get on a kid’s ass for not bringing his notebook to class or not having materials in general. If they just took the time to talk to these kids or get to know them at all, they’d have come to realize that one worked all night long with his mother cleaning up churches and fast food places to help her pay the rent. That’s why he was falling asleep in their class. Or another that had 5 younger siblings and a mom that worked two jobs. As soon as she came home from school, she was basically their mother. That’s why her homework wasn’t her best effort. Another didn’t have pencils, paper, or access to a computer because his dad, mom, younger bother, and two little sisters were all living out of a van after being kicked out of their apartment for not paying the rent. Instead of getting pissed off, just figure out what’s going on. A little bit of tenderness and compassion goes a long way and it’s not so much out of pocket to have a stash of extra pencils and paper in the classroom. It may seem small, but it’s one less thing they have to worry about.
13 Feb 2018 20:51 - +57
Why are people having kids they cannot take care of? This is tragic
13 Feb 2018 21:24 - +37
>Joshua Travis Dickerson Sr., graduated from Griffin High School in the state of Georgia. He earned a degree from the Georgia State University. After finishing college, Dickerson became an educator in the DeKalb County School system, and was awarded the DeKalb County Teacher of the Year Award through 2007 and 2008, for Jolly Elementary School. >Dickerson is currently a Regional Operations Director for a non-profit organization in Metro Atlanta. He created several programs to empower the youth such as the Pieces of the puzzle, and Fathers & Reading. He is part of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro Atlanta. Mr. Dickerson also helped to create chess as well as the robotics clubs at various programs in Atlanta. >As a proud father of three, Dickerson is knowledgeable firsthand about the importance of being a positive role model. >He’s also passionate about writing. Dickerson utilizes everyday life as a muse for his poetry pieces. His verse "Cause I Ain’t Got a Pencil" is receiving all- inclusive praise. https://www.interruptedblogs.com/single-post/2016/03/01/Joshua-Dickerson-brings-in-a-crowd-by-the-multitude-at-the-Sights-and-Sounds-Museum-A-Solute-to-the-History-Makers Mr. Dickerson's Poetry book; https://books.google.com/books/about/Cause_I_Ain_t_Got_a_Pencil.html?id=dvHQjgEACAAJ
13 Feb 2018 17:23 - +37
Joshua woke everybody in this thread up
13 Feb 2018 16:16 - +16
😭😭😭😭
13 Feb 2018 20:53 - +15
Punched my teacher in the face but I ain’t got no pencil
13 Feb 2018 21:40 - +14
This wasn't actually written by a student, it was written by a teacher - He's on twitter. Still doesn't make it any less true or poignant
13 Feb 2018 21:15 - +13
We're a developed, wealthy nation that acts like it can't fucking afford to fund education and child services.
13 Feb 2018 21:30 - +12
my heart just broke. my stepdaughter grew up like this. i spent a lot of money trying to get custody of her. she lived with us for 7 years, but when her dad decided to divorce me, i wasnt allowed to see her again. 😭 BUT she was the first person in her family to graduate high school AND college, and is a nurse now. ❤️ can i send this school a gross of pencils???
13 Feb 2018 20:35 - +11
Not a poem guy, but it’s interesting how the simplicity of it conveys the gravity of the situation.
13 Feb 2018 21:34 - +11
Dad was already at work, we presume?
13 Feb 2018 21:36 - +11
Omg this hits so hard. I’m from baltimore and I remember the day my 7th grade Spanish teacher publicly fussed at me for not doing my work. I had no school supplies. Everyone I asked around me wouldn’t let me hold a pencil. She later apologized. I’m 26 that was over ten years ago and it still makes me sad and embarrassed. Edit. I just remembered the day I found an eyeliner on the ground before my first class and I used it all day for my assignments. Wow God is good. My family and I have come such a long way.
13 Feb 2018 17:05 - +10
Doing the best you can in good situations is tough. I don't think I could keep something like this up for too long.
13 Feb 2018 21:27 - +10
OP don’t have a charger.
13 Feb 2018 21:06 - +8
The parents should be in jail for child neglect.
13 Feb 2018 22:00 - +7
Not true. Pencils are free. So was his breakfast.
13 Feb 2018 21:40 - +7
As a teacher I really really try to remember this. Some mornings are so tough and you feel like you’re doing nothing right but these kids are probably doing their best. One thing I’ve started doing is if I see a kid sleeping in class, I let them sleep for a while before calmly tapping them on the shoulder. I see teachers immediately yelling at them to wake them up without regard for the fact that they might not have a bed, or maybe they hear fighting all night long.
13 Feb 2018 21:50 - +7
To be fair, both sides are fucked up. Buying pencils and school supplies for each kid in your class over and over again multiple times a year adds up, teacher could be struggling too. Underfunded schools sure ain't buying enough supplies for their student bodies, instead they pay their teachers pennies and just push the cost onto them. How do we know student's mama ain't home because she's a teacher herself and needs to be at school early for bus duty, lesson planning, parent conferences, or stopping at school to pick up more pencils? Maybe the plot twist is that teacher is the kid's mom and she's angry because the kid forgot his fresh pencils she just bought him.
13 Feb 2018 21:56 - +6
“Johnny can’t write because Johnny doesn’t have a fucking pencil” * The Wire
13 Feb 2018 21:34 - +6
I remember being in high school getting flack from my teachers over my shoes since they were not up to scruff while also having a rough upbringing myself..like Jesus man..if the kid hasn't bought new shoes after the 100th time you've pestered him over it, maybe there's a reason why.
13 Feb 2018 21:54 - +5
I work in Baltimore City schools, and this is sadly the depressing shit that happens here a lot. Some schools are better than others, but there's a surprising number of teachers who just don't give a fuck. Part of the reason why this happens is because the city has so many problems that it just can't solve any of them, and the rest of the state of Maryland is aggressively trying to cut off Baltimore's funding and ability to solve its problems, while at the same time the city is forced into race to the bottom style scenarios that lead it to more problems. For example, City Schools faced an $130 million dollar deficit this year. One hundred and thirty million dollars. This largely happened due to a loophole in Maryland's education funding system. In case you didn't know, education in the US is largely funded by property taxes, which obviously puts impoverished areas at a disadvantage. Maryland law ostensibly corrects this by saying the state will make up the difference in property taxes so that every kid in the state gets the same minimum funding. However, the city (in an effort to preserve any kind of economy) has been offering huge tax incentive plans to businesses and real estate developers who want to build (i.e. gentrify) the city. So you have Under Armor moving in, and a bunch of the areas of the city (Harbor East, Fells Point, etc) have suddenly become trendy. This has dramatically raised the property value of the city. However, none of this has resulted in property taxes, since those companies aren't paying property taxes! So the city looks like it has funding where it actually doesn't. And instead of fixing these sort of problems, Governor Hogan (who has 60% approval ratings in the state and bipartisan support) blames the city for losing money, and campaigns on taking money and support from the city. All of this dramatically effects teachers and students. At my school, we went from having a teaching assistant in each grade to having a teaching assistant for every other grade. We also let go of our librarian. Other schools were hit harder. Schools that never had teaching assistants in the first place are a nightmare. Most of the teachers in the city come from programs like Teach For America that only give them a short summer class then throw them into the classroom with no support. And they can't expect support from the school. And because there is only one person in the classroom to handle students, things get dropped. I've heard stories about kids who have had murders in their family, and of course they act out because they just went through a trauma. But the teacher has to keep teaching the whole class. And there is no assistant to talk to the kid. And the school had to let their social worker go because of funding problems. So what happens is the kid is just pushed into the hallway where they spend the whole day instead of learning. And this happens in a ton of classrooms, and you end up with packs of kids in the hallway everyday just running around. I guess that turned into a longer rant than I expected. But man, it's a nightmare what's happening in this city. But everybody is so content to ignore it. Most people just watch The Wire and say "wow that's so awful," but it's been 15 years since that show and if anything things have gotten worse in the city. And the rest of the state is just looking at murder statistics and yelling for the city to start putting more cops on the streets and to arrest more black people, which causes what happened recently where the graduating class of the Baltimore Police Academy had at least a third of its students fail basic legal policing tests (such as knowing what probably cause is and why it's important). I wish more Marylanders would get involved with the city and with City Schools so they could actually understand the people of the city and the struggles going on here.
13 Feb 2018 21:40 - +4
Well enjoy that school breakfast while you can, uncle Donald needs a new leerjet

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