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Is Equality Discriminatory?


Public-school integration has been the law of the land ever since 1954, when the U.S. Supreme Court ruled “separate but equal” schooling unconstitutional.

But now a class-action lawsuit in Florida charges that the Pinellas County School Board’s policy of equal access to education has unconstitutionally failed to properly educate the district's 20,000 African American students.

The suit, headed for trial this July, was filed seven years ago by a father on behalf of his son, then a student at Sawgrass Elementary School in St. Petersburg. The boy had academic problems that were "typical of those difficulties commonly faced by students of African descent," the lawsuit said. Because the school system hadn’t given him and other African American students academic help uniquely tailored to their race, the suit concludes, schools were breaking the law.

African American students in the county lag far behind whites on standardized-test scores and are more than twice as likely to be suspended, but district officials insist it would be racist to treat all black students differently than their white peers.

"Our programs are designed to address a student's academic needs, not their skin color," said school board member Nancy Bostock. Her own son, an African American student in a county school, is officially a plaintiff under the terms of the suit.


Although we keep talking for equal rights, but we still need to do something for equal rights. More we are doing now, More our descents can get..

Skin Color..What a stupid word.

Daniel Pennant

Re: Ms Bostock's comments on the programs being designed to meet the academic needs of students--apparently they were not meeting those needs, and they were not meeting those needs in numbers disproportionate to African American students.

I don't like to see the language that says the student was struggling in ways that are typical of African-American students--sounds like deficit thinking to me. I am sad to see that this kind of lawsuit is necessary. Why can't we just educate all of the students?

Could we all start being real, PLEASE? It's no surprise to anyone that black lower income children do not do as well as other children. Lower economic class means lower scores, lower achievement, generally. Unfortunately, class is a primary indicator for success. Changing that means significant interference in the home which messes with other liberties.

The culture of the AA lower classes takes a double whammy because their culture reinforces negative behaviors and attitudes toward achievement. They arefurther isolated from cultural norms and the mainstream both by choice and by vestiges of racism. Expecting the school to be able to address this complex set of problems is absurd, certainly not in a generation.

Those who demand schooling tailored to black children are suggesting, quite boldly, that society should reinforce ethnocentric education and racism to help children accept the idea of achieve as their right. I disagree with this idea vehemently. It wasn't okay when the Nazis tried to rebuild their culture with self aggrandizement and over emphasis on a limited sense of identity, it's not okay now. Better is to continue affirmative action until there is a large enough black middle class (currently, 1/3 of the black population in the US) that stereotypes of black being associated with poverty, crime and failure begins to be replaced with images and a reality of success... for some.

That's the other thing. The expectation that everyone has to succeed is naive at best and reinforces the idea that one does not have to work or sacrifice for success. We are not all entitled to success. Those who work for it are. That there are those who are successful without doing the work is the shame of our society and will eventually be it's downfall

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Recent Comments

  • anon: Could we all start being real, PLEASE? It's no surprise read more
  • Margo/Mom: Re: Ms Bostock's comments on the programs being designed to read more
  • Daniel Pennant: Although we keep talking for equal rights, but we still read more




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