Private schools serve as an alternative to public education that gives you the opportunity to steer your children into learning avenues appropriate for their interests and beliefs. However, you may have heard rumors about racist attitudes at these schools. Unfortunately, some private schools have spotty records regarding racism, but there's a major push across the country to eliminate these problematic attitudes and beliefs.
Is There a History of Racism in Private Schools?
Although private schools have become a bastion of positive education and progressive concepts, that wasn't always the case. After the groundbreaking "Brown vs. Board of Education" decision in 1954, lawmakers in Prince Edward County, Virginia, attempted to re-segregate their schools.
Their plan focused on de-funding public schools and funneling all education money into private schools. These schools would have a high price tag and stringent rules for interested African-American students. Thankfully, these plans did not reach fruition.
Is Racism a Current Threat in Private Schools?
Obviously, anti-racist rules and regulations are in place in nearly all private schools. However, this doesn't change the attitudes and prejudices that may still exist in individual students or teachers. A movie made by parents of an African-American student attending Dalton illustrated that concept in a harrowing way.
Originally conceived as a way to celebrate racial integration, it instead showed their son turn from a bright, excited child into someone who scrubbed his gums to make them more pink (in an attempt to be more "white") and who sullenly stated "I hate school."
What's Being Done?
Leaders of the nation's top private schools have worked long and hard to eliminate racism in their classrooms by passing important anti-discrimination rules. And now many are working with the students themselves to eliminate biased and discriminatory language and thought patterns.
For example, a private school in Manhattan named "Friends Seminary" recently did an exercise with its students that helped identify terms that they found inappropriate and which they didn't want used. This exercise required everyone involved making a list, not just minority students. For example, one white student resented the term "privileged" being used as an insult against her.
Sometimes seemingly innocuous terms were included. For example, an Asian-American student didn't appreciate the term "ditzy."
Thankfully, racism in private schools has always been something of a fringe phenomenon and appears to be going the way of the dodo. If you're interested in taking your child to a private school, research their charter to ensure they have appropriate anti-discriminatory rules and regulations.Share
27 February 2015
When I was a kid, my parents didn't care if I went to school or not. My mom and dad worked full time, and truthfully we didn't usually see them until well after school got out anyway. Unfortunately, this lack of schooling made it hard for me to learn valuable study habits. When I started taking school seriously later, I found that I was way behind where other kids my same age were. Fortunately, a few kind-hearted teachers helped to turn things around for me. They taught me techniques for how to learn, and I want to share them with you.