Selma: How The American Education System is Failing

By: Cynthia Ayala

I work at a movie theater and I won’t lie, there are a lot of unintelligent people that come by that don’t know anything about anything. These people ask me where the times are when they are right behind me, they don’t read anything. They come to the movies and wait in line and still have no idea what they want to see once they get up to my window. It’s one thing if you just got there and you want to see what’s playing but if you are waiting in the line for a while, no matter how fast I move, how have you not decided on what you want to watch? You’ve been in the line for a while now and you still have no idea what you want to watch? Really? Then there are the people who just grunt at me. Use words, I don’t understand grunts, I don’t know what kind of a grunt says yes or no or two people, one person. The English language is not hard. Do not nod your head, answer me when I repeat your order because if it’s wrong, and at times is it because no one listens to me and I want to make sure that what I have is correct and that my mind did not process my coworkers order, it’s not on me. Of course, that doesn’t stop people from yelling at me and calling me stupid and other things that are very offensive. I mean really, you are the one who can’t even be bothered to use the English language and instead grunts like a caveman, and I’m the stupid one. I have an IQ of 148, I think not.

But I digress, I’ve never known how many lazy stupid people there are in the world who can’t even be bothered to read. However, that is not the point of this article. I am astounded by the amount of people who ask me what Selma is about, who Martin Luther King Jr. is and what the Civil Rights movement was about. I just, I can’t comprehend that lack of knowledge on that part. These are things schools are supposed to be teaching, correct? I know I learned them in school, every year since Kindergarten until I was a Senior in High School. But since the movie opened I have discovered that people know none of these. I had a couple, a little older than me, I’d say mid-twenties who came up to me and asked what “Salem” was about. First of all, the percentage of people who actually pronounce the word correctly, is small. Selma, sel-muh. It’s not hard. So then I educate them because it is apparently within my job description to inform them that the movie is about Martin Luther King Jr. and the civil right movement and the walk that defined a nation, that fought for equal rights between African Americans and Whites. I do not get paid enough to educate people on history.

But that’s still miniscule to what I am about to say. A father and daughter, African American, come hang out and can’t decide what to see. There is no line, it’s quiet, and they are talking about which movie to watch. Daughter says “What’s Salem?”. Of course, the father corrects her and says “It’s Selma, it’s about Martin Luther King Jr.” Her response was “who’s that?” I think I say his brain explode from rage and I’m sorry if what I am about to say is offensive to anyone. He says “You’re black and you don’t know Martin Luther King is?” Needless to say he bought one adult and child ticket for the movie. She was 11, I know because I had to ask since he was getting child ticket.

American Education system is failing the U.S. I think this is because of standardized testing due to the fact that teachers now and days just prep for testing rather than teaching. If you teach well enough, they won’t need prepping. I had a high school teacher like that, in fact, I had various high school teachers like that who thought it was ridiculous. But it seems to be the norm now. Education is falling, and this country is falling with it. I don’t know about you but this depresses me.


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