Peculiar Portrayals: Mormons on the Page, Stage, and Screen

By Mark T. Decker; Michael Austin | Go to book overview

3
Teaching Under the Banner of Heaven
Testing the Limits of Tolerance in America

KEVIN KOLKMEYER


Entry: A Unique Place by the Sea

Walking through the halls of Kingsborough Community College we are all very
used to by now, there are several female Islamic students who observe their reli-
gious right to be fully covered
.

Kingsborough Community College student paper

Kingsborough Community College in Brooklyn, New York, is bound by water on three sides. It is on a peninsula, but in some ways, it might as well be on an island. There are only two ways to enter the campus, and each is fenced and gated, with guards to check whether you are authorized to come in. Every day students ride buses that ferry them to the campus from subway stops about a mile away, past swanky oceanand bay-front homes, but there is no other contact between students and the neighborhood surrounding the campus. A former World War II maritime training center, the campus is a sanctuary for many, a haven for students who come from cramped apartments and neighborhoods; however, most would never be welcome to own the homes they pass to get to school, much less be able to afford to do so. The students come from geographically different and sometimes-isolated neighborhoods in Brooklyn that sharply contrast with genteel Manhattan Beach, where the school is located. As long as they keep to the buses, the subway stops, and the fenced-in campus, the relationship between the students and the neighborhood works. It is not clear what would happen if that boundary was ever breached. It is the separation, the isolation, that seems to make the relationship tolerable, but at what costs?

-62-

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