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Listeners Respond

Listeners Respond

Listeners Respond

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A conversation about the Baltimore riots of 1968 touches a nerve with some listeners and blog readers. Also, we get a passionate response to a conversation about teachers leaving the classroom.

MICHEL MARTIN, Host:

And now it's time for Backtalk, where we lift the curtain on conversations from the Tell Me More blog and get a chance to hear from you. I'm joined by our web producer, Douglas Hopper. Hey Douglas, what's up?

DOUGLAS HOPPER: Hey Michel, we started this week looking aback at the riots following the assassination of Martin Luther King in 1968. We decided to focus on Baltimore. Tommy D'Alesandro III, who was the Mayor of Baltimore when King was assassinated, told us his story.

TOMMY D: When I got the news, a little curl went through my stomach, I felt like a body blow, I felt hurt that I lost a real friend, and then I realized that I had a tremendous responsibility for what may happen.

HOPPER: We closed the show, talking to Dayvon Love and Deven Cooper, they recently became National Debate champions. Our coverage really hit home with some listeners. Here's what Nicole a native Baltimorean had to say.

NICOLE: Everyone always hears about the low graduation rate of Baltimore students, and that the rest they know about Baltimore comes from "The Wire" or what they see at the inner harbor. So, it was really good to see some successes highlighted as well.

MARTIN: Thanks for your comment, Nicole. We also got some feedback on our round table of teachers. We bought them together to talk about what's driving some teachers out of the classroom. One our guests, Preston Robinson, explained why he quit teaching after only a month.

PRESTON ROBINSON: I was basically thrown into the classroom with kind of the attitude, well, here you are, good luck. I can't say that I was completely unsupported, but as far as training for dealing with the discipline problems. I didn't have any.

MARTIN: Now I hear one teacher called in with a different take?

HOPPER: That's right. Janice, a teacher for 29 years in Loudoun County, Virginia, called in to tell young teachers to hang in there.

JANICE: Teaching is truly about making the connections with families and children. I've seen kids in college, I've gone to weddings, I've seen babies, I have been the gamut, and I'll tell you, it is quite rewarding in the end.

MARTIN: Well, thank you, Janice. Thank you for calling in and thanks to everybody who called and wrote. The conversation continues, if you want to get in the mix, visit us at npr.org/tellmemore and blog it out. Thank you Douglas.

HOPPER: Thank you.

MARTIN: And that's our program for today.

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