Resegregation of schools is an issue we can no longer ignore

Resegregation of schools is an issue we can no longer ignore

Resegregation of schools is an issue we can no longer ignore
February 13
19:56 2019

It’s no secret that racism is still an issue in this country — arguably a more prevalent one in recent years, throughout the current sociopolitical climate, than it has been in the past. This malfeasance is starkly present throughout our nation’s unbalanced education system and has created a clear divide between public and private schools across the country. Institutions have undoubtedly begun to resegregate classrooms — intentional or not — illustrating an uneven distribution of resources between minorities and the privileged.

After a controversial and humiliating stare-down between Covington Catholic student Nick Sandmann and Native American Omaha elder Nathan Phillips, America turned its eyes and ears to the white teen, seeing him off to television interviews and tweeting in his defense — even President Trump publicly directed his focus toward the incident, calling it “fake news,” deflecting our country’s attention away from more important affairs like that of our public schools and their lack of available resources.

For six full days, more than 30,000 Los Angeles public school teachers went on strike for their predominately black and brown schools, standing in cramped, rainy streets and effectively putting learning to a halt for roughly 500,000 students from more than 900 schools in the district. Teachers, students and parents stood out in the cold demanding higher pay, smaller classes and more staff until they reached a satisfactory agreement with the district that, according to CNN, resulted in an overall 6 percent increase in wages, a gradual decrease in class sizes and more counselors, librarians and nurses on staff.

There is discrepancy among the way different areas around the country are being represented and there is a clear disconnect with what is catching the eyes of our nation. We see affluent white children, like those of Covington, Kentucky, end up in private schools where they are presented with a surplus of resources and a steady means for success — those same affluent white children who exhibit undeniably tone deaf behavior, gain public spotlight, enjoy their 15 minutes of fame and then are able to return home to the comfort and support of their wealth and private schools with no repercussions.

Meanwhile, thousands of black and brown students in places like Los Angeles are left untaught for days on end because their public institutions have to go on strike just to get a nurse on campus five days a week and a counselor on the school grounds. Other public school districts around the nation have also begun to picket unfair wages and a lack of resources.

According to USA Today, more than half of Denver Public School teachers didn’t report to school on Monday, Feb. 10, continuing this ongoing trend of misappropriated power and lack of support within our education system. All the while, Nick Sandmann and the poor taste of his classmates have broken into headlines and made it onto the “Today Show,” amidst the chaos of strikes and picket lines due to this country’s resegregated youth.

The rash inequalities across the lines of race and class that have been exemplified by recent events are not unfamiliar. Our country has begun to seriously regress over the last 65 years since the Brown v. Board of Education ruling officially desegregated schools.

Racial polarization in schools has only risen since 2000, according to the Government Accountability Office. This trend can be directly tied to residential segregation in communities surrounding educational institutions. The Federal data from 2016 shows that poor black and Hispanic children are becoming increasingly isolated from white, affluent children in America’s public and private schools and as a result are limited in their exposure to basic resources, supplies and even classrooms.

Although many of our nation’s citizens claim “fake news” or simply choose to turn their heads and close their eyes when it comes to the stark injustices that are rampant in this country, these injustices illuminate an ever-present racism embedded deeply into the social edifice of our country’s schools and beyond — no amount of denial will erase this reality.

Featured Illustration: Chelsea Tolin

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Chaia Brett

Chaia Brett

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1 Comment

  1. Bruno
    Bruno February 16, 16:44

    The complete video of the Covington Catholic School incident exonerates them of any wrong doing. I do not see how they have anything to do with the mismanaged LA public school system. Public Schools fall under the purview of local and state governments, In the case of the LA public schools, they have been under control of some of the most liberal governments in the US. They created a budget problem that they have not been able to fix.

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