Lakeland teacher publishes poem

Published 8:41 pm Monday, May 21, 2018

Lakeland High School teacher Carol Parris-Krauss had a poem recently published in “The New Verse News.”

The poem, “I’m Going to Have to Ask You to Leave,” focuses on the recent spike in news coverage of black people being asked by police officers to leave business establishments.

“I’m surrounded by a large number of African-American students, and they have the same rights,” Parris-Krauss said. “I researched all the incidents when they were stopped for everyday things, and then I saw the speech from Ms. Maxine Waters.”


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The poem cited the well-known Starbucks case from last month where two black men had the police called on them as they waited to meet a third man. It also references as the speech Representative Maxine Waters made in the House of Representatives.

Two black men, Rashon Nelson and Donte Robinson, arrived early for a business meeting at a Starbucks in Philadelphia, Pa., on April 12, and a white employee called police because they did not purchase a drink.

Parris-Krauss was immediately motivated to write by the Starbucks incident and similar situations that have happened across the country.

“I struggle a lot verbally. I’m not a smooth talker, and it’s always easier to write,” Parris-Krauss said. “It’s 2018, can we just stop?”

The research and writing took less than two days for Parris-Krauss, and the online publication accepted the poem less than 24 hours after submission.

“That’s really unheard of in poetry,” Parris-Krauss said.

Parris-Krauss has been writing poetry all her life, and she received her Bachelor of Arts in English from Clemson University. She has had other works published in online and print publications.

Her work can be found in online and print magazines such as Storysouth, Eunoia Review and The South Carolina Review.

“I’ve done it for a long time from when I was a kid until about 10 years ago. When I moved, everywhere I looked there were poems were to be written,” Parris-Krauss said. “I’ve had three published since February.”

Not all of Parris-Krauss’ works are politically driven. She also enjoys writing about imagery, places and history.

“I really write about whatever speaks to me,” Parris-Krauss said.

Parris-Krauss teaches 11th-grade English and 12th-grade Advanced Placement Literature and Composition at Lakeland. She moved to Suffolk last August from Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.