Letter from Mrs. LOK to Justine Wise Polier
Apr. 10, 1959
Judge Justine Wise Polier
Children's Court Division
Domestic Relations Court
New York City.
Dear Judge Polier:
In your article in the U.S. News of Jan. 9, 1959, you state that the best teachers in New York City are being allowed to choose their schools, and that the Negro and Puerto Rican schools are being assigned the weakest teachers.
As a former teacher in the Indianapolis Public schools, as the manager for ten years of 11 units of Negro property and as the wife of an architect who built Negro housing in Indiana, I should like to answer your complaint.
A huge percentage of the Negro pupils now in Northern schools, have come from the South, where segregation has existed for generations. Finding themselves in an integrated society, these formerly stable children, become arrogant and abusive; in other words, they go "haywire". Unfortunately, welfare workers, police and school principals have not cracked down sufficiently on these delinquents. (Could such laxness be due to fear of political retaliation?)
I know definitely of cases where Negro children have kicked, cursed and even threatened women teachers with physical assault; but it does these teachers no good to protest to their principals, for in many cases the principals merely say, "Settle these matters yourself." These teachers feel that they cannot do a good job of teaching under such circumstances; and I, as a former teacher, admire them for refusing to accept positions in Negro neighborhoods. If the Negro parents want better teachers for his neighborhood school, let him discipline his children, but the average Negro parent is apt to cry "Discrimination!" if his children are disciplined. And, I might add, runs to the NAACP with his story.
A stiff backed attitude by society in general would help immensely; for, after all, the whites have some rights, which are now ignored by welfare, church and judiciary groups.
I am particularly bitter today, because I have recently heard from two schools of Negro boys pushing white girls up against walls and fences and passing their hands over their bodies. What is the matter with the old fashioned whipping post?
In Cleveland, O., where I lived for nine years, there was no trouble with Chinese children; is there any reason why the Negro race cannot control its offspring?
As a result of my numerous contacts with Negroes, and as a result of Negro studies while living in four large cities, I am for Segregation with a capital S.
(Mrs. L.O.) H.V.K.
[name & address redacted]
Letter written to Justine Wise Polier in reaction to the Skipwith v. New York City Board of Education ruling. The author expresses racist views and supports teachers choosing which schools they teach in, even to the detriment of school children. (Spelling errors/typos have been corrected.)
How to cite this page
Jewish Women's Archive. "Letter from Mrs. LOK to Justine Wise Polier." (Viewed on September 22, 2014) <http://jwa.org/node/11364/lightbox2>.