Kierra Bell, You’re a Hero. Monica Conyers, You’re a Thug.

Kierra Bell, an 8th grader at Courtis Elementary/Middle School in Detroit, is one to watch.

In a panel with Detroit City Council President pro tem Monica Conyers, who has proven herself a loudmouthed goon in recent months, Ms. Bell dressed down Ms. Conyers in a remarkable, sensible fashion.

Take a look [RSS readers, click here]:

Note Conyers’ dismissive facial expressions and eye movements as Bell discusses Conyers verbal attack on a Council member whom Conyers called “Shrek.”

Then Bell explains that Council members should be able to set an example for the young and chides Conyers for having done something childish:

Bell: “… but you’re [Conyers] an adult, we have to look up to you.”

Conyers: [condescendingly] “Absolutely.”


Bell: “… calling another adult ‘Shrek?’ That’s something a second-grader would do.”

Conyers: “And so at school, you’ve never done that, you’ve never said anything that you shouldn’t have said inappropriately [sic]?”

Bell: “But we are kids –”

Conyers: [cutting off the student] “But that’s not my question though. Have you ever done that?”

Bell: “I said yes.”

Conyers: “Oh, ok. Alright. So, and you did it out of frustration also, right?”

Bell: “Yes.”

Conyers: “And so we’re all human, right?”

Bell: “We’re human, but you have to know your boundaries. He’s [the man called Shrek] the President –”

Conyers: [cutting off Bell] “Of what?”

Bell: “Of the City Council.”

Conyers: “And so you think that because someone is the President then they have a right not to allow other people to be heard?”

Bell: “They’re allowed to let other people be heard, but not in a disrespectful way.”

Conyers: “… to me he was being disrespectful.”

Bell: “He was, but you didn’t have to call him a name.”

Conyers: “But now you’re telling me what I should have and should not have done.”

Bell: “You’re an adult, you have that choice.”

Conyers: “I’m what?” [surprised]

Bell: “You’re an adult. You had that choice.”

Conyers: “And everybody has choices.”

Bell: “Well, sometimes people need to think before they act.”

Conyers: “Ok, well I’m not going to be combative with you, young lady.”

Too late, Ms. Conyers – you made your bed and an 8th grader put you in it.

Ms. Bell was incredibly measured and respectful throughout this exchange – thank God we have the video to prove that. Despite constant provocation and prodding by Conyers, Bell keeps her cool and sticks to the argument at hand.

Conyers should be ashamed of herself for this one. But, of course, she won’t be. I wonder if she’ll threaten to get a gun and shoot Kierra Bell like she’s allegedly done in the past?

Game, set, match to Kierra Bell.

And to Ms. Conyers, who ought to be removed from the Council post-haste:

ya got served, monica conyers!

Conyers, ya got served by an 8th grader who has likely forgotten more about being a responsible adult in public service than you’ll ever know.

Sometimes leaders lead by example; other times they give us wonderful lessons in how not to go about things. Thanks for that, Ms. Conyers. [hat tip:]


Charlie LeDuff’s exclusive interview with Monica Conyers is here:

Detroit News’ LeDuff is hilarious, Conyers is despicable. It’s a must-watch.

My favorite part might be when LeDuff asks Conyers to give a 15-second pitch to “come live in Detroit.” Part of her answer?

“Good schools.”

LeDuff has her read through a transcript of the “Shrek” incident. She’s incredibly proud of what she said and how she said it.

Good schools? Good grief.

11 Responses to “Kierra Bell, You’re a Hero. Monica Conyers, You’re a Thug.”

  1. Ah… more reasons why I am SO glad I live in northern Michigan.

    I’m very impressed that the young lady stood her ground. That is fantastic!

    And as for the Detroit City Council… ugh… they have enough problems with their Mayor and his scandals. It’s too bad- Detroit could be a great city again if it were cleaned up from top to bottom.

  2. Oh, this young lady was great. Conyers treated her quite rudely and she didn’t get flustered or lose her way. Even at the very end, I thought she was emphatic, not rude.

    A couple years back I remember Dave Bing [businessman, Syracuse basketball player, NBA Hall of Famer] pushing for school reform in Detroit – his efforts and his fundraising were awesome. They didn’t want his help.

  3. ARGH. After watching that video again through the lens of a language teacher- Conyers is so condescending.

    Ms. Bell score +1. I wish I could see that follow up interview they’re going to have with Ms. Conyers.

  4. You can! Just found it:

    I agree completely, Conyers was condescending in an unacceptable way. What makes it so comical – and headlined it as “Comedy gold” – is that when Conyers says, “But you’re going to tell me what I should have and should not have done,” every sensible person in the world is thinking, “Well… yes, of course she is, and that girl is right.”

  5. Shaela says:

    Ken Cockrel, Jr. is black btw. Anywho, that young lady was excellent. The one before here was also. This woman has no idea what is right and wrong and she is a disgrace to Detroit and an Idiot, simply put. How as an adult can you justify name calling to a child???? RIDICULOUS!

  6. Shaela,

    Definitely – both students in the video are aware and sensible. They aren’t intimidated at all by Conyers’ childish, condescending behavior.

    She doesn’t seem to have any idea how absurd she sounds in that second interview, either.

  7. Mrs. Conyers, in my not so humble opinion, is just riding on her husband’s coattails.

  8. OMG Matthew! She is outrageous. Just goes to show you how much mediocrity fills our bureaucracies.

  9. Jan-n-TX says:

    I am hopeful some of the *professional* bloggers
    will lead the way to a scholarship fund for this
    young lady. They can count me in.

  10. Frank,

    Long time, no talk! I saw that you got a nod from a large media site – well deserved.

    I have no idea how anyone could think that Monica Conyers would be an asset to government. I think it’s a fine, telling reflection of the hopelessness that some in Detroit seem to feel.

  11. Jan,

    Check this out:

    At the very least, Ms. Bell worked herself into a hell of a college application essay. I suspect that this won’t be the last time she’ll use her common sense and strength to make an impact.


  1. Browse the 170th Carnival of Education at : Education for the Aughts - American School Issues and Analysis - [...] Kierra Bell, You’re a Hero. Monica Conyers, You’re a Thug. [...]

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