As I face myself in the bathroom mirror at work, I am greeted by my reflection. A pleasant reflection that tells too many stories to notice. Today, the reflection calls to mind the beginning of my junior year of high school. Enter Eldrick Horton, a new principal hell bent on reforming Douglass high. He couldn’t get the school board to sign off on mandatory uniforms, so he opted to force all male students to tuck in their shirts daily, instead. No matter the type of shirt, no matter the ensemble, we were to tuck. A small resistance and I thought ourselves the wiser by wearing shirts too short to tuck in. Imagine it, a group of 10 or so junior high school boys walking into the overcrowded cafeteria with their belly’s exposed. We were greeted with cheers and whistles. But it was short lived. Principal Horton quickly approached us individually to address the resistance. No one forgot, though. Principal Horton’s campaign was also short lived. He would stand in the hallway day after day, instructing as many young boys as he could to tuck in their shirts, only for them to un-tuck them as soon as they were out of his line of sight. The teachers didn’t support his campaign either. Most saw it for what it was, arbitrary. Within a couple months, it was a non-issue.
It seems that I have always been a part of some resistance. That makes me smile. That’s who I am I guess. I remember it all vividly as if it were just yesterday. I can still feel the fire of rebellion burn in my chest. We were the “Untuckables”. And our resistance lives on…
In googling my former principal for this piece I discovered that he resigned after being charged with, and admitting to sexual harassment in 2014. Ain’t that something?
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