Wealthy white parents aren’t happy about a desegregation plan that aims to diversify schools in the Upper West Side of Manhattan, New York.
According to the new plan, all local middle schools are required to reserve 25 percent of their seats for students who score less on standardized English and math exams administered by the State of New York’s Department of Education. This methodology will diversify the schools, making them desegregated, eventually geared toward becoming reflective of New York’s broader demographic.
At the moment most of the schools on the Upper West Side are predominantly white. With the new plan, they will broaden horizons as black students will also get a chance to attend those schools with better teachers and facilities.
But that’s not acceptable to many of the white parents. They believe there will be fewer seats available to high performing white students if the desegregation happens.
A local media outlet shared a video showing white parents furiously reacting to the new plan. “You’re talking about an 11-year-old, you worked your butt off, and you didn’t get that, what you needed or wanted,” yelled an angry woman during the meeting held at Public School 199. “You’re telling them that you’re not going to go to a school that’s going to educate them the same way you’ve been educated. Life sucks!”
Everyone knows how people of color, especially black people, are treated in this country. Black students have to fight for equal education. They are more likely to get arrested and experience disciplinary action, such as detention, suspension and expulsion, compared to their white counterparts.
Principal Henry Zymeck was extremely upset with the way these white parents reacted to the desegregation plan. “There are kids that are tremendously disadvantaged,” he said. “And to compare these students and say, ‘My already advantaged kid needs more advantage, they need to be kept away from those kids,’ is tremendously offensive to me.”
Thumbnail/Banner Image: Reuters, Michael Korean