Was That Wrong? Should We Not Have Done That?
More great moments in American education: Nettleton Middle School in Nettleton, Mississippi had an official, written policy of racial segregation of its student government, including a chart that explained which positions (president, vice-president, secretary/treasurer, and reporter) could be held by whites and blacks in the 6th, 7th, and 8th grade. The highest office to which blacks could aspire was 8th-grade vice-president. [Edit: some news reports suggest that the school alternated years, so students were eligible for different offices depending on race different years.]
"Student elections have not yet been held at Nettleton Middle School for the 2010-2011 school term. The processes and procedures for student elections are under review. We are reviewing the origin of these processes, historical applications, compliance issues, as well as current implications
and ramifications. A statement will be released when review of these processes is complete."
Yeah, you do that review, Russel.
Wouldn't you love to be in the room when the people who enacted this policy, or turned it into a chart, or distributed it, explain why they thought it was legal or appropriate?
Public education includes many brilliant, dedicated, and skilled teachers and administrators, but also a certain number of people who are so knuckle-draggingly stupid, or so woefully ignorant, that they are able to convince themselves it is appropriate to publish a chart dictating the acceptable race of student government leaders. The size of that category is subject to dispute. The process of weeding out the morons and freaks who create situations like this is stymied by politically powerful public employee unions that frequently make it nearly impossible to fire freaks and morons, or even rate them.
Edited to add: Hey, they've got racially divided homecoming courts as well.
Edit two: they changed the policy.
After being notified of a grievance regarding upcoming student elections at Nettleton Middle School, research was conducted that evidenced that the current practices and procedures for student elections have existed for over 30 years. It is the belief of the current administration that these procedures were implemented to help ensure minority representation and involvement in the student body. It is felt the intent of these election procedures was to ensure African-American representation in each student office category through an annual rotation basis.
It is our hope and desire that these practices and procedures are no longer needed to help ensure minority representation and involvement. Furthermore, the Nettleton School District acknowledges and embraces the fact that we are growing in ethnic diversity and that the classifications of Caucasian and African-American no longer reflect our entire student body.
Therefore, beginning immediately, student elections at Nettleton School District will no longer have a classification of ethnicity. It is our intent that each student has equal opportunity to seek election for any student office. Future student elections will be monitored to help ensure that this change in process and procedure does not adversely affect minority representation in student elections.
To which I respond: seriously? They did this for 30 years, and nobody said anything? It never occurred to anyone that it was patently illegal? Seriously?
Maybe they can get Jimmy Carter to come supervise the next election.
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