When parents ask me where my daughter is going to kindergarten, I tell them my local, public, elementary school. Many are surprised, and follow the question up with “Oh! Is that a good school?”
…Because it IS a good school, with loving parents, teachers, and administrators. Without the glossy brochures, the extra fancy professional development, the “team-building.”
Because there is no lottery, no admissions process, no waitlist. No back door secret enrollment policies. You live in this neighborhood; this school belongs to you.
Because it is a school brimming with potential and excellence, despite many families and people in our neighborhood who ignore it or don’t consider it worth attending and supporting
Because just as the grassy strip of parkway in front of my house is my responsibility to maintain for myself and my neighbors, my local elementary school is also that- my responsibility. My responsibility to patronize, to trust, to support.
Because unless I am intentionally placing my children in diverse settings, both socio-economically and racially, unless I am intentionally acknowledging and addressing the issues of school segregation that have divided this great city, I will raise a racist. I won’t mean to. But intentions are no longer enough. Unless I am forcibly putting her out in to the world, confident in her resilience, humanity, and grit, I will keep her cloistered and separate from the truth of what it really means to be an equal among equals.
Amen, like-minded parent.
* = I fucking hate the word “ally” and the word “allyship.” I think both of them sound patronizing and disconnected as all hell. So fuck that word choice but I’m with this guy on everything else he says.