The Corner Forum
Saturday, Oct. 19, 2002
Issue #2

It's Time to Do Something Positive With These Vacant Schools

By Kevin "Edward" Tate, 1332 Corbin Place, from an interview

I think they should turn Kingsman into a school instead of havin' it just sittin' there for nothin', because its been sittin' there for 10 years, closed down, and it's abandoned, so they need to go ahead and open it and do somethin' with it. And, I think this Lovejoy over here — they need to take that and turn it into a school. Or somethin'. They need to hurry up and do somethin' with it. `Cause it's just sittin' there, and time is going past and nobody's doin' nothin' about it.

Okay. And why does it matter?

Why do it matter? Because they always talkin' about people who are out on the streets `cause nobody don't have nowhere to go. This is nothin' but houses around here. There's no community centers. The only boys and girls club is like, far away from here, you know what I'm sayin'? It's not nothin' close in this area right here for the kids in this area. So they need to take them schools and do somethin' with `em. Instead of doin' nothin' with `em, `cause they just sittin' and they ain't doin' nothin'. So they need to take them schools and turn them into somethin'. They need to hurry up and do it, too.

Kids need a place to play, because — they got a basketball court — two basketball courts. Kids wanna play on a playground, slidin' boards, swings, and stuff like that, you know what I'm sayin'? All kids don't play basketball — boys play basketball, but girls, you know, they need somewhere to play at. And runnin' up and down these streets might get `em hit by a car, or something.

They need more trash cans out here. Because people complain about littering and stuff like that. I don't see no trash cans, and when you throw somethin' in people's trash cans, they complain about it. I see they got one trash can by the store, but that's not enough. They need to put more trash cans out here, and open up these schools.

Let me ask you — sometimes people say [having places to play] keeps people out of trouble. Is that true?

Not really. I mean, it depends how you been raised, you know what I'm sayin'? Some kids like violence, and some kids like to do positive things with themselves. For them kids that like violence, they got a place for them kids, you know what I'm saying? But all kids is not like that.

It's how they been raised out here. I'm not gonna even blame it on the kids, it's the parents. It's not the kids — it's the parents. The parents don't do nothin' about it. And, see, me — I came from the ghetto. And — all kids know right from wrong, no matter what. All kids know right from wrong. When they do somethin' bad — they know what they doin' is wrong.

It's just that nobody's doin' nothin' about it. The parents is not doin' nothin' about it, and they allow it to happen. And by them allowin' it to happen, they gonna keep on doin' it cause they know they moms or dads is not gonna do nothin' about it. You know what I'm sayin'?

What was your experience, growing up?

That's all I grew up around, is violence. But I know right from wrong, you know what I'm sayin'? You see we still out here. When kids see us doin' — I'm not sayin' we — but when kids see other people doin', they think it's cool, and they wanna do it too. And that's how it is. It's a lot of followers around here, and not enough leaders. §