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Equity Issues Are Not New

Posted By: Lynda Cray on May 7, 2004
 
My family lived in Nigera, Africa, at the time that I was in junior high school. I attended an American school and completed pre-algebra in the 8th grade. This means that I expected to take Alg. I in the 9th grade.

Upon returning state-side at the time that I was in the 9th grade, my family moved to Houston, TX. My family had only lived in small towns up to that point. Even the American International School in Lagos, Nigeria, was a "small learning community"; 100 or less students in grades 7, 8, & 9 combined. My entry into a 'big-city' school system was a nightmare in three ways:

1. I didn't have my grades with me from the foreign school, so I was enrolled in pre-algebra AGAIN.

2. I had never seen students be disrespectful to the teacher, disrupt the class, and not do their work before this.

3. Moving from a climate near the equator gave me a tan so dark that the Chicksaw part of me was clearly evident. The 'good kids' wouldn't talk to me, only stared. And the 'in-trouble-kids' were that ones who invited me along.

I changed that year...from loving school...to hating it. By high school, I just wanted out. I was a Distributive Education student my junior year so I could be released early to work each day. Then, in my senior year, I was released early each day on a work permit. I didn't like shcool and no longer felt that it had anything to offer me.

You did what I wish my parents had done. You went to the school and got involved in your child's education. As a teacher now, I can tell you that equity happens only for those children who have parents going into the school and keeping an eye on things so that thier children don't fall through the cracks as did I.

My father didn't graduate from high school; he just knew how to work hard. He is dark-skinned because the Moors and the Romans went into Ireland in the same way they went into the rest of the populated region we refer to today as Europe. He is accused of being white, but his nose is definitely Roman. To the Irish, he is a Black Irish because he does not have the white skin of the Irish. I, therefore, fail to see why your article would discriminate against those who do not call themselves Latino. It is true that Latin is a dead language, but I would like to note that it is clear to any linguist that Latin is embedded into many of the languages which we speak today.

It appears to me that equity is an issue when we fail to protect the priviledges provided citizens of this country by the constitution which formed it. Getting involved is what produces results. Working hard, as did my father and as I do today, is what gets one ahead in life. The plain truth is, that one has to work hard to unearth correct information so that ones goals are attained. The government is not designed to do the work for you, rather the constitution guarantees your right to work for what you want in order to bring it to pass in your life. United we stand, divided we fall.
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 Equity Issues Are Not New by Lynda Cray on May 7, 2004
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