I am discussing segregation in
public schools because we have talked about this topic numerous times
throughout this semester. I also have read articles about this issue on my own spare
time. I am embarrassed and completely disgusted by the way American school
systems treat minorities. It truly hurts me to know that young children are
still being segregated by the color of their skin. From my understanding, this subject
is an ongoing issue that has no promise of stopping anytime soon.  In this essay, I intend to give a historical summary
of segregation in public schools, what it looks like, and sanctions that may
put an end to segregation in public schools forever.

            Education has not always been an
easy thing to obtain. Many people have struggled to gain access to schooling
just because of their color of their skin or their culture. Segregation in
schools started as early as 1866 when ex-slaves were banned going to school
with White Americans. The prevention of ex-slaves into White schools was
solemnly based on prejudice and domination. Whites wanted to stay dominant and
they knew that if they allowed slaves to go to school, ex-slaves would become
smarter and stronger. In an article, we read over this semester, James Anderson
critically reinterprets the history of southern black education throughout his
discussion. Anderson explains, “the slave regime was so brutal and dehumanizing
that blacks were little more uncivilized victims who needed to be taught the
values and rules of civil society.” (Anderson, 2007, p. 31). After everything
Whites’ did to slaves during this time period, the least they could do was
offer education. Instead, Whites’ treated ex-slaves like filth.

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Fast forward to the 20th
Century where Civil Rights Movements was a vast deal.  Almost 63 years ago today, the anniversary of
the supreme court ruling in Brown VS the Topeka Schoolboard, which concluded
that separate educational facilities are integrally unequal, and obligated
states to provide for educational opportunity that is available to all on equal
terms. “Brown v. Board of education reached the Supreme Court throughout the
fearless efforts of lawyers, community activists, parents, and students.” (Graham,
2015, p. 236).    Not
only were African Americans unethically mistreated, but so where Mexican Immigrants.
The Lemon Grove Incident was about Mexican Immigrants and their communities
being treated unfairly by the school officials. So unfair that Principle of the
Lemon Grove Grammar School, gave instructions that only White American students
could enter the school. He declared that “Mexican Children did not belong at
his school. They could not enter, and must attend their own school”. (The Lemon Grove Incident, 1986).  During this time period, the principal could
make the decisions for his or her school.   Just
like Brown VS the Topeka Schoolboard, the Lemon Grove Incident went to court
and won. Although this was great news, it emotionally drained families of
minorities and caused frustration.

 

            In modern-day America, segregation
in public schools still occurs more often than we think. When I learned about
segregation still happening, I did not know how to wrap my head around this. I
guess you could say I grew up very privileged and very blessed. I attended
Buford City Schools my whole high school career. Buford is known for their
sports and also the fact you can pay tuition to go here if you live out of city
limits. However, believe it or not Buford is a Title One school where more than
half of their students get free or reduced lunch. Why is that you may ask if
people are literally paying to go here? The area around the school is poverty
filled. Public housing is within feet away from the schools.  I will say though, Buford is very respectful
and clever. Everyone that attends Buford must wear dress code. Plain black,
white, gray, gold, and green shirts are to be worn every day and the base of
the shirt must cover your collar bone. You must also wear kaki, black, or gray
pants every day with no holes or rips. To be honest, I hated this in high
school. I hated that I had to dress so formal to school and I hated that I had
to make sure my collar bone was covered at all times –like what? Yet, they did
this for a reason and I truly did not understand this until now. Buford made
you wear these things so that students did not feel ashamed and isolated due to
the fact that some parents could not afford nicer clothes. Buford also did this
academically. They did not categorize by race or culture but in fact as whole.
Unlike some school systems in the United States we have talked about during
this semester. Normandy, for example, is a perfect indication that segregation in
public schools is indeed still a contraption.

            The Normandy School District in
Normandy, Missouri is a school district that is almost completely black, almost
completely poor, and is failing badly academically. This school district had
been on probation for 15 years because of how critically they were doing. In January
2013, Normandy lost its accreditation from the state. The school stayed open, though,
students had the ability to transfer to a nearby school district for free. Any
student from Normandy was now allowed to make that decision. Nedra Martin and
her daughter Mah’Ria Pruitt- Martin decided along with the majority of Normandy
to go to Francis Howell. Francis Howell was 85% white and wealthy. Parents of
Francis Howell were extremely discourteous and racists when they found out that
Normandy students were transferring. Mah’Ria Pruitt- Martin says it best, “Even
though I am young. I know what it is like to be hated and disliked by people because
of my skin. As a child in this environment, it made me grow up faster and face
reality at an early age.”  (The Problem We All Live With, 2015). Not
only were the parents of Francis Howell uncouth but so were the teachers and
staff.  I do not quite understand how a
teacher can treat a student differently because of the color of their skin. This
is not the only school either. There are thousands.