Thursday, February 5, 2009

You've Got to be Kidding me!!!

According to recent events the School Board has rescinded the component of the consent order requiring guardian and parental residency on the same side of the river as the attending Magnet school. Instead they are choosing to add a residency restriction when reviewing applications from Jefferson Parish residents that live on the opposite bank from the school. This, in my opinion is the SAME THING. Does the parish want to have Magnet schools or do they want great schools in every district that attract great teachers with parents and students that want to learn? They are doing a wonderful job building out the parish with new high achieving schools. Don’t let them soil their efforts by casting arbitrary residency restrictions that serve no purpose. Westbank children will go to westbank Magnet schools if they have the choice and the schools are GOOD. Same for eastbank. Applying this residency restriction is simply "fudging" their bet that they will serve these “separate but equal” schools described as being ”substantially equal” on both sides of the river once declared unitary.

We have always view the division of the parish by the river as segregation. This new tactic is simply an example of the stubbornness of authority worn too long by the same people and of the institutional racism that permeates much of our society. If overt denial is not possible then covert denial is the last resort. This is the constant fear of Black people and the disenfranchised. I am sadden for this turn of events but am please to see it come to light right now rather than 2.5 to 3 years from now when the school board’s “authority network” has the final say in decisions. We may get to change the make-up of the board over time but history bears out those chances as nil.

History also bears the fact that people's drive and enthusiasm wane and the weight of the mass will have to be born by just a few. Mrs. Elder is doing a remarkable job keeping abreast of the Boards activities, informing parents and maintaining a home as she sinks her teeth deeper into the school board's shenanigans. She like myself will do what is best for our children after all of this is over but I hope the example she has set in staying the course will not be lost on parents after us. I’m afraid however that history also bears witness to this as well.

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