Not long ago, my kids’ school, was–when you get right down to it–bullied by the local school district. Almost since its inception, our school has been accused of ‘recruiting’ students to its programming–though most arrive on the doorstep of our charter severely exhausted at what amounts to beating one’s head against a wall advocacy of one’s kid in the traditional school setting. Our kids wound up in charter not because we’re religious fanatics, our mountain crazed hippies, but because the school district refused to meet the needs and goals of our children. Plain. Simple.
Earlier this year, the school district began a campaign against our school which I deem to be one of those last straws kind of arguments. They accused our school of racism saying our school didn’t have enough people of color and therefore we were effectively, an elite and racist school. Come again?
Dude, we live in a county that’s pretty damn white. How white? According to the Census Bureau we clock in at 90.5% white. Asian American, African American, and Pacific Islander ethnicities alone COMBINED don’t add up to 4%. Latinos and Native Americans make up the rest at staggeringly small numbers. But the school district says our school is racist because we don’t have non white students.
And this is where I, the mother, need to throw a chancla at someone’s head. Because we DO have Mexican American, Latinx children at our school. We DO have children who have Native American blood running in them. What is being said without being said is that our children, my children (Mexican American_, don’t count. My son’s girlfriend’s family (El Salvadoran) doesn’t count. Along with many other kids whose families are bicultural.
My kids are invisible and do not count the way successful ethnic minorities never get counted. You only see us in the negative. You don’t see us when it’s positive.
I’ve been asked if my kids had the same father (they do) because of the melatonin variation in their skin. Ummm…have you seen large Mexican families?!
I’ve had a lifetime–as has my mother–of people making ass backwards comments that go along the lines of “Wow. You guys are Mexican? But you’re so educated…” Heh. The department chair of my old department said as much to me. Somehow in her eyes, I wasn’t allowed to be Chicana because no one in my family had picked vegetables.
My kids speak English. They go to school. They are by and large successful students. One holds down an after school job. One does gymnastics and dance and both are in musical theater. But the vibe I’m getting from the school district is that since neither one of them is in a gang, sells drugs, or is pregnant, they somehow aren’t brown enough. Trump logic. Pendejos.
So, PUSD, come after us. Go ahead. My chanclas are ready to thwack that nonsense right out of your two-bit heads.