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"Do disadvantaged families really want to see their children bused all over the county in order to assuage liberal editorial writers' white guilt?" (A reader's comment on Urban Journal's "Segregation Forever").
This is the neo-racism of 2014: When you hear "residency requirement" for schools, think legalized segregation. When you hear "those kids," think the n-word or some other derogatory word for an immigrant or person of color. When you hear "students who are behavior problems," think poor, disadvantaged, and voiceless.
We have arrived at a point where our educational system is structured to keep community members who need the most and deserve the best (as we all do) separate from those living nearby who have the means to help.
We have the answer to helping those in need: ending legal segregation in Monroe County. Integrate our schools. But parents do not currently have "choice" in this county. For clear, rational evidence on why this is a good idea, read "The Benefits of Mixing Rich and Poor" by David L. Kirp, posted in the New York Times on May 10.
"Busing them all over the county"? Why don't you ask us? Ask us if we would like our children to attend the neighborhood school put on the priority list, where it is not safe to walk to school, or if we would like to have our child sit on a bus for 20 minutes and attend one of the better elementary schools in the state. Ask us what we prefer.
But wait; can you? Do you know 10 or 12 families living in the city? Do you know any families living in poverty, people of color, who have school-age children?