It was the last straw! “How could they print such a thing!” the kids were saying. Suddenly, Shaker Heights High School (40% black 40% white) was divided sharply along race lines. When the school newspaper was handed out in homeroom that morning all of the black students (except for maybe 1 or 2 and me ... almost) got up and walked out of the school. The white students stayed. What had happened?

The headline read: “Blacks at Shaker Lag in Test Scores

The article, much like Charles Murray’s book, The Bell Curve could be taken to mean that us black kids were inferior in some way. I knew the girl who wrote it and I knew that wasn’t what she meant, but there was uproar in the hallways and it was no time to argue semantics.

I was watching the others leave, not certain if I should go too, when I heard Alex Lobe, the fastest kid on the cross country team, click his teeth “You see the article was right.” he said.

With that, I was out the door. It was a mob of angry teenagers maybe 200. “Where are we going?” I asked. Nobody knew. Then someone shouted “To the mayor’s office” My blood ran cold. The mayor? We’d be arrested! I’d never make honour roll!

But, it was too late we were headed down the street. We showed up on the steps of the mayor’s office. She, to my surprise came out looking a little amused. “Well, what do you want?” She said.

“We want that girl put in prison!”

“The papers should be burned!”

“Why is there a gap!?”

“We aren't dumb!”

“Let me get this right” she said “Do you guys want the article to disappear or the gap in test scores?”

A pause.

“The gap!”

And with that we became an army.

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