Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Segregated School in Toronto is a go

Okay, so last night the Toronto School Board voted in favour of opening an "Afrocentric School".

I probably shouldn't be writing about this, because I really don't have all the facts, so take what I say with a grain of salt, but...

It's my understanding that this will be a black only school. Which is segregation, no?

I think I would be okay with an 'Afrocentric School' if it were the same way as any other high school that has an area of specialization. A school that specializes in the arts. A school that specializes in science stuff. That kind of thing. A school where anyone can go, but there is a lot of programing offered in a specific area.

I might be way off, maybe this will be wide open to everyone, but that's not what it sounds like. It sounds like it will only hire black teachers (not sure if that's even allowed, and why would it matter for, say algebra, what the racial experience of the teacher has been?), and it sounds like it will only have black students.

How is this empowering?

All this does is sets people apart, makes people different, isn't that the fear that racism is based on?

Maybe if I were black I'd feel differently. Maybe if I were a parent I'd feel differently. Maybe if I were a teacher I'd feel differently. Maybe if I were a school board trustee I'd feel differently. The truth is I am not someone who falls under the label of 'key stakeholders' for this issue in any way. I am actually completely removed from the issue.

But, well, I don't know, it just doesn't feel right. My gut tells me this is a bad idea. I usually trust my gut.

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