By: Taren Vaughan
Since it’s beginning in 1909, the NAACP has continuously strived to improve the overall status of African Americans. From politics to human rights, members of the organization have never been afraid to stand up for what they believe in and support what they are passionate about. One thing the NAACP is very adamant about is education. And two North Carolina public school systems are now realizing just how serious they are about it.
The North Carolina chapter of the NAACP has taken their dislike of the Wayne County Public School System’s flawed diversity policy to the courtroom. The chapter has filed a federal compliant against the Wayne County Public School System claiming that it’s practices hinder the educational rights of minority students, namely African Americans. There was talk in Wayne County about making changes to their educational policies. But it seems as though no positive things have come from it. According to NAACP’s North Carolina chapter president Reverend William Barber, Wayne County Public School System fell short of their promise to revamp their diversity policy which led the NAACP to take legal action.
“This action comes after years of talking and good-faith efforts to end its patterns and policies that have resulted in the creation of extreme re-segregation and a district of apartheid education within what is supposed to be a unified one-county school system,” -Reverend William Barber
The Wayne County Public School System was not the only NC school system to get called out by the NAACP. The Wake County Public School System has also jumped on the “no diversity” bandwagon as well. The Wake County school board voted to end their diversity policy which will result in children attending schools in their respective neighborhoods.
Why would Wake County do this? As the county that is home to North Carolina’s state capital, you would think that they would aim for diversity; not only in their residential areas but in their schools too. If Wake County continues with their attempt to end busing, all those underprivileged children who reside in the county will end up at the same school with each other. And all the children who come from middle class and wealthy families will convene in the same classrooms. So where will the diversity come in? It won’t come in. If these less fortunate children, who usually belong to a minority group, have no other form of transportation to get to school other than a school bus, they will be forced to attend a school in their neighborhood. Why should a child be limited to the schools in their neighborhood? How will they ever learn how to interact with children from different backgrounds if they are constantly surrounded by kids who are just like them? That’s the beauty of having a sound diversity policy. It gives those less fortunate children a chance to receive the same quality education as children whose parents have endless amounts of money.
Removing the busing system and dismissing the diversity policy could be very detrimental to the racial composition of both Wayne and Wake County Public School Systems. If students are not given the opportunity to travel outside of their neighborhoods to go to school, these counties’ public schools will continue to have a dominant race within their student populations. The NAACP can foresee this very thing happening so why can’t Wake and Wayne County Schools see this? Maybe they can predict the future and are quite content with how it may turn out. They should be aware though that the NAACP will not be the only organization voicing their opinions on the matter.
We as a people have come entirely too far in the area of academics to sit back and watch this take place without saying a word. Our educational opportunities have drastically improved since the days of pre-integration. If other public school systems began to follow suit, it will take us back to where we started. With powerful organizations like the NAACP, these types of actions from public school systems will not be brushed under the rug or taken lightly. Every child’s education is important no matter what color they are or where they come from.