With numerous Jefferson colleagues, Social Studies teacher Matt Maddox openly shared the Civil Rights Heroes essay written by Nikki Hill.
But I was an audience of one when he recited–from memory–another "essay" written by Ms. Hill. Explaining the circumstances behind its creation took almost as long as the recital: "Social Studies involves societies and no society can exist without laws. I happened to be listening to John Lennon's IMAGINE when I came up with the idea of having my students create their own society based on one–and only one–law. Half of the kids, being from South Central, wrote about no drugs, no guns, or no alcohol. The other half of the kids wrote variations on the theme of loving your neighbor. All of that was very predictable stuff and pretty goddam tedious to grade but then along came Nikki:
A WORLD WITH ONLY ONE LAW
Loneliness is a crime and all first-time offenders will be jailed. They would range in age from five to ten. Instead of being put behind bars, they would climb on them; play on jungle gyms and with video games. They would learn good manners and how to have safe fun. Then they would dance the Bugaloo with silly Barney. At the end of their dance, they would bow to their elders. Re-entering the real world after such "imprison-ment," these criminals would never grow up to feel a need to be wanted by a post office wall because they would be wanted by each other.