Thursday, September 14, 2006

I’m not prejudice, but…

Last night while talking with one of the mothers of a kid on the soccer team I coach, she told me about her son’s class at the same primary school (K-1) that my daughter goes to. Starting out with the phrase “I’m not prejudice, but…) she complained about how the school needs to ensure diversity. It seems she is unhappy that her son is the only white kid in his classroom. The school is about 50% white and 50% black, and she reasoned that the school should ensure that the school should ensure that all classrooms should reflect this ethnic makeup. Her argument was that her son felt “different” in his class.

First let me say that I have had three kids attend the same school and I have always really liked the school. I loved how they were only a K – 1, the administration was always helpful and friendly, and the teachers genuinely care about providing a quality education (even if they don’t use the most effective methods). I have never noticed the ratio of ethnicities in my kids in the school and frankly never paid attention. I am much more concerned about whether there were disruptive students of any race. I am positive that our school assigns classes randomly and his class was just a fluke.

It saddened me to hear an otherwise kind and educated person complain about ensuring diversity, when it didn’t take a genius to realize that it was her own racism that was behind the complaint. I know her son and like most 7-year olds, he couldn’t care less whether his fellow students were black or white, but all she saw was color and class. I am positive if his class was mostly white that she wouldn’t mind at all. Her son’s academic’s is going to be determined by the effectiveness of the teacher, his natural learning ability (yes I mean IQ), and how much supplemental effort she puts in at home, not whether the child beside her has the same pigment of skin.


elementaryhistoryteacher said...

I'm not sure about the procedures your school system uses to create a class roster, however, I believe they are all about the same. We spend hours, usually an entire day to sort cards with basic information concerning students so that classes are as balanced as they can possibly be according to gender, race, and academic abilities. Discipline is also an issue as rosters are set up since it would not be beneficial to the teacher or students to have possibly violent or verbally disruptive students all in the same class. Not only is this done so as not to load a class with a particular group it is done to satisfy various federal and state statutes.

I agree with you that on the average young students rarely seem to notice race or economic level....they simply know they like each other and want to be friends...just the way it should be.

rory said...

Wow... I didn't know that. I wonder what happened with her son's class. I still don't see the big deal.