Kunsmiller Junior High

Eric writes:

I went to Kunsmiller Junior High School. That was before they started calling them Middle Schools. I was there from seventh through ninth grades. My favorite teacher was Jeff Guilford. He was my science teacher. I really loved science. I was a lab assistant for him in eighth and ninth grades in addition to my science classes. I also really enjoyed playing in the band. I was in the orchestra and the jazz band. I played the baritone and trumpet.

My worst experience at that school was on Martin Luther King Day. Back then the Denver Public School system was trying to integrate races at the schools. Since all the schools in Northeast Denver were Black and all the Southwest schools were white, there was a lot of bussing of students to try to equalize the numbers. I always thought it was a bunch of shit. I was lucky I never had to be bussed.

But one of my better fiends in school was bussed from across town. Anyway on MLK day, right after school there was a gang of black kids wandering the halls.

I had stayed after to help out in the science lab for a bit after class. As I was walking down the hall, I heard someone yell at me. When I turned around to see who it was, I saw about a dozen black kids running at me. So I took off running. I got to the third floor stairwell and started down. I made it to the second landing when they caught up with me.

I don’t think I was really hurt, but mostly shook up. I went to the Principal’s office to report the incident. He asked if I could identify any of the kids. Since my glasses were knocked off and broken with almost the first punch, I didn’t see who it was that hit me. So the Principal said nothing could be done about it and I should just go home.

It made me angry that I was beaten up in my school like that. It took me many years to get over the prejudice I learned that day.

— Eric H