Saturday, February 14, 2009

Tearing down the Wall!

My colleague in this fight to "properly" form a unitary public school system has placed her head on the block to get the job done. By filing an intervention in the Dandridge vs JPPS desegregation lawsuit Mrs. Nicole Edler is attempting to expose the true objectives and motivations of the school board and in particular their attorneys. She and supporters like myself want to expose the board's activities to all Jefferson Parish parents and guardians who are either uninformed, complacent, unconcerned or tired of fighting.

A unitary school system means the school board (and presumably the people who vote for them) would have more control to improve education for our children so it is simply obscene and antagonistic for Patin (school board attorney #1) to suggest she just wishes to hold up the process and get her white child in a school that's majority white. The fact that she is white is essential because under these circumstances Black students attending on the opposite side of the river from their residence may be eligible for a transfer (particularly from the Westbank to Eastbank) since Black students in any of these Magnet schools are underrepresented. I would likely have been dismissed as having no right to intervene, being Black (if you didn't know).

Like her I am interested in the true rationale for denying cross river access. Despite the judge's orders (AND his "Cease and Desist") the school board is now disguising their rebelliousness by using preferential admissions according to residency and not test scores to segregate the parish. I just want them to clearly explain how desegregation will be achieved by segregating the parish by the river! Substituting one dual system for another duel system seems counter productive and sets a bad precedent. We want to hear it from the "horses' mouths" and not be shut out by attorney client privileged.

These activities the school board insists on encouraging stands in stark contrast to the Jefferson Economic Development Commission's optimistic objectives with its slogan "Jefferson: Opportunity Lives Here". The attorney's make this slogan sound too much like a similarly ironic slogan, "Arbeit Macht Frei"!



Will my child have opportunities in Jefferson Parish?...I really can't tell!

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