Friday, February 29, 2008

Great Lesson for Black History Month

I read in the Kansas City Star a story about a school program at Schlagle High School here in Kansas City regarding Black History Month.

Written by Dawn Bormann, it explained how for the past 2 years they have conducting this lesson during Black History month to teach the students about discrimination. In addition the story revealed that many parents learned as much as the kids. Awesome.

So it goes like this in brief......

The students at the school are divided by skin color for the day and made to use separate facilities like bathrooms, water fountains, enter by different doors. This year the white kids were the ones subject to the discrimination. They said they reversed it every year. I'd say keep it this way each year. Afterwards, they had a chance to share their experiences and frustrations. I think there is lots to learn by all. Well done to Doug Bolden, the principal at the school.

It reminded me of something we did in school that you probably wouldn't see today because of changing times. We had a week called "Communist Week" where we all had to pretend we lived in the USSR all week at school. They gave a few of us status as party insiders, body guards to the leader and then they sat back and watched abuse our power and start treating our friends like crap. It didn't take long. We also learned about the privilege and responsibilities of freedom. I still remember it to this day. I'm sure these kids and their parents will say the same thing years from now.

There was a mother, Mary Ann Kovac, who looked like an ignorant person in the article. I hope upon reflection she realizes how dumb she looked. I guess they were a little upset that a few of the light skins were treated roughly, called "whitey" and other things like that. Go figure. Hard lessons. You don't think maybe those few isolated incidents might have arose out of first hand experiences? I was impressed one dad who first called to complain called back to say he had learned a big lesson today. Pretty cool.

This would be a great program to take nationwide but people will not have the courage to do it.
The picture above is of George Washington Carver. A great American and in the theme of my blog.....lived in Johnson County for a time. Actually, he lived in Olathe and attended Lincoln Elementary School which was the "black" school back then. We always think we were the good guys during the civil war and Missouri was the slave state but we had our issues to own as well. He didn't invent peanut butter but pretty much everything else we know about peanuts came from this dude's research.

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