Tenure was denied to me. The Proviso East school board also fired Dr. Greeley, the Superintendent of Schools who urged discussions regarding human relations at all levels of interaction in the school system. I was in admirable company. And then there were two.
The study of Gestalt psychology and family therapy was calling me. I could study with Laura Perls in New York City and so I moved.
A year and a half later, I came back to the Oak Park/Maywood, Illinois area for Christmas vacation. Five of my Proviso East High School colleagues came to a holiday party that the Chusid family gave. It was with great determination they had one message they wanted to give me. My department head, Ms. Ruth Schmitt had retired the year earlier. She presented a letter to the school board that was circulated throughout the English Department. She stated she was retiring early because the school system had not appropriately addressed the prejudice and human relations issues in the school. She held me up as a role model of courage that she was following. In that letter she lamented that I had been denied tenure. She encouraged the members of the English Department to continue in that mode of bringing equality to the school population. I never saw the letter. I never heard from her she went on to another career at the Loyola Medical Center. And my heart was touched. And then there were three.