A few more thoughts on my desire to see more black kids in Elsa’s classroom (as opposed to being spread out among the three pre-K classrooms).
I had a lightbulb moment when I talked to the Head of School.
He said, basically, that it would take a huge effort to make it happen, and it would cause a LOT of controversy.
I had given him all my reasoning (as described in my follow-up letter), and — after a fair bit of prodding, extracted his personal opinion (based on the research out there and his own research for his doctorate in Education) that clustering children of color together is better for them.
But then he said: we are going to have to go to the mat on this one.
I was feeling really dense, and then he said: the white parents won’t like it.
And I sat there, feeling even more dense.
Somehow managing not to notice I was being slow, he continued: they are paying 25 grand a year for diversity. And so they want Elsa (or someone who looks like her) in their child’s class. They won’t be happy with an all-white class.
I keep going back to this thought, because it is so obvious. But I was so oblivious. Of COURSE they want a black kid in their child’s classroom. Diversity is hard to find in our very white homogeneous county. And the more kids of color you can put in a predominantly white classroom, the better.
Except it’s not better for the kids of color. At all.
So who do they satisfy? The majority of the parents, who have white kids at the school and want to see diversity in their classroom? Or the minority of parents, who have kids of color who would be better served by all being in the same classroom?
It’s a sticky wicket.
If I had a white kid, I’d want kids of color in my kid’s class. But then again, I would never even have considered whether it was similarly beneficial (or even detrimental) to the minority kids to be spread out to satisfy this desire.
Yet another sign of my white privilege – never crossed my mind.
But now I’m thinking – I totally should go to the mat. I am white. The other white parents will have a harder time dismissing me as having a racial agenda.
And I can relate to them. Right?
Or am I stirring up unnecessary controversy?