Saturday, January 17, 2009

Alternative (Reality) School

I am stunned that Bibb County Public Schools will bow to the complaints of a few parents and offer an "alternative educational activity" for children whose parents do not want them to watch Obama's historic swearing in and inaugural address on Tuesday. Apparently, these parents argue that this is not "an educational activity." Given the singularly historic nature of the occasion, that ridiculous assertion hardly deserves a response, especially given the history at one of the schools where the complaints emerged, Carter Elementary. Earlier, Carter had a "Polar Express Day" that involved children dressing in pj's and watching the film. That activity generated no newspaper articles or complaints from parents about misuse of "valuable educational time" and no demands for an "alternative educational activity."

There is something wrong with allowing a few parents to require that the school system facilitate children missing what arguably marks the greatest cultural shift of our lifetime. To those who would argue that this is a "political event," I would remind them that Obama is our President now- all of us.

I am left with two questions:

1) Were any of the parents who complained black?

2) If the answer to that question is "no", as I suspect it is, then, the reality of what will happen here on Tuesday is that a few white children, whose parents chose for them, will opt out of history by exiting classrooms before the swearing in is broadcast to the rest. Are we really fine with that?


foxofbama said...

Please keep us updated about this matter as it has also been picked up by Glenn Jonas blog and Baps Today editor Johnny Pierce blog.

I hope you will follow through and as soon as possible get a copy of Jumpn Jim Crow, collection of essays about Jim Crow Era with a concluding look at Southern History and the Shoah.
With current Big Ticket Movies Valkyrie and The Reader; great teachable moment here for the Parents in Bibb County.
Ignorance and Mediocrity must be confronted and Progressive Baptists, other believers, even non believers should civilly as possible engage these folks.
Also keep an eye out for Will Campbell's new book about Jesus and Elvis, and take a look at current issue of analysis of white working class Identity politics resistance to this Obama Moment.
Lot of bad religion and bad culture emerges from folks who miss the point. That is what education is about and I hope you follow through.

Amy Morton said...

Thanks, also, have you seen Dr. Andrew Manis's piece, "When Will We Get Over It"? It is excellent.

terrina said...

Now, we could get into an argument with the AJC about women who should have been included, but in politics, perception is reality. The 2009, the reality in Georgia politics is that while there may be 18 million cracks in that last glass ceiling, Georgia's gold dome remains unfazed. In fact, according to the Center for American Women and Politics, while more than half of Georgia voters are female, only 19.1% of Georgia legislators are women. Georgia ranks 37th among states for female representation in the General Assembly. None of us should be satisfied with those numbers.

By the way, according the 2007 Kid's Count Data, Georgia ranks 41st in overall child and family well-being and has ranked in the bottom ten states for the last fifteen years, bringing up the rear in categories like high school dropouts, teens not attending school or working, low birth-weight babies, teen births, children in single-parent families and infant mortality. While the causes of these problems are poverty-linked, these are issues that women are often especially interested in and uniquely qualified to address-not because of their chromosomes, but because of their experience.
Adult Dating