Sutherland, Barbara

60 minutes
Kenzer, Ellen
Transcription available:
Retired Jefferson County Teachers
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Barbara Sutherland started teaching in the Louisville city/county school system in 1964. Her teaching certificate enabled her to teach elementary school and middle school. Her subject area was language arts. Mrs. Sutherland taught first through fourth grades in Abraham Lincoln, Wellington, and Norton Elementary schools. The latter fifteen years of her career she taught grades 6 and 7 at Kammerer Middle School. During the 1970s Sutherland felt that the changes in the schools brought on by court ordered desegregation and the city/county merger were handled poorly. She is critical of the systems implemented by the school system to solve school climate and discipline problems. Sutherland did not like the new programs of the 1970s and willingly transferred to a school nearer her home. She felt that she was forced to teach the "regular" students, primarily Black students, and complains that they are not being prepared with life skills. In her classroom, Sutherland tried to have talk sessions with her students about their problems and concerns. She holds that no one is listening to those students and that they are falling through the cracks. She expresses a sense that integration let Black students fall behind.
Busing for school integration--Kentucky--Louisville, Jefferson County Public Schools (Ky.), School integration--Kentucky--Louisville, Teachers, African American teachers