Saturday, December 03, 2016

Johns Island Residents Seek to Integrate Public Schools

I know. The newspaper's headline reads "improve area schools," but that's not the true goal. 

Some white residents who have moved to Johns Island are tired of sending their children to school elsewhere. However, Johns Island's CCSD elementary schools need to "improve" in order to integrate. The devil is in the details. Concerned white parents will tell you the schools fall short in many areas. What they don't say is that it will take a major effort among white parents on Johns Island to overcome the reality of de facto black schools. 

Superintendent Gerrita Postlewait encourages the formation of a "diverse community board or panel to help govern the school" instead of the formation of yet another charter school. That's all very well and good, but the devil is in the details as usual. Who will have the authority--the administration, the school board, or the community board?

To "honor the history" of Angel Oak Elementary, a school that has "historically served black students" without removing its black culture will destroy attempts to integrate. White parents are happy to have a diverse school as long as it doesn't come with a black culture. What they desire is the color-blind, middle-class culture found in truly integrated schools. The community board and CCSD must recognize that fact, or the effort will be doomed from the start.

It's taken decades for the Charleston County School District to achieve its de facto segregated schools. 

These parents need all the help they can get.

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