This first is that we need an image to frame this debate over 105 children--K-5--traveling 4.4 miles a day this fall to attend Cooke Elementary instead of Marbrook. I thought of two possible images. The first, created by Norman Rockwell, would be "Little Rock," which came to mind after I read this comment by MEESH at Delawareliberal:
So the schools have historically tried de-segregation based on raced and were unsuccessful now the focus is bridging a gap in academic achievement by desegregating socioeconomic status , the bottom line is this there will always be a difference! When this fails, as the desegregation of race did, what will we try next hair color?
Ironically, however, instead of Federal marshals, the escorting officials at Cooke Elementary would be RCCSD staff. But then I read the comments from Pseudo-elitist about how as few as four poor children per class in a school in an upper middle class neighborhood would destroy the potential quality of Cooke Elementary like a vampire sticking fangs into our chidden;s throats:
Here is a breakdown of what is happening. Our tax dollars already are paying for both city schools and suburban schools. I’m not complaining for this in particular, since it is already going on, and who else would pay for those poor city kids anyway (not like their parents, if they have one, would), so for the country and those kids’ sake, I accept that. Now you are saying the city schools are not nice, so better get them into nice suburban schools (which by the way only become nice because of the composition of the students). So now in addition to paying for both schools, I have to pay for my kids to get out of that supposedly nice suburban school. How nice! Congratulations again. You WON! Triple times! As long as there is someone else picking up the bills!
Do you know how much teacher’s attention those 4 kids would suck up? By my imagination, it may well be 50%. Yes, that is not acceptable in my world.So I thought that THIS would be a better graphic for those horrible vampire children of the Lancaster Court Apartments:
Little fiends! We'll need to get out crosses, garlic, silver bullets, and wooden stakes to keep a bunch of undead vermin (aged 5-9) out of our suburban schools.
And then I thought, where do vampires spawn? This is what Pseudo-elitist tells us about Lancaster Court Apartments at Delawareliberal:
I was there for lunch one day recently, and when I was waiting in the car, some guys came around and were gesturing to me trying to deal drugs to me. Unbelievable.This is what MEESH reported about Lancaster Court Apartments at Kilroy's Delaware:
I walked around LCA today to find some people of the community to speak with because this I am not racist or classist as someone on Delaware Liberal referred to our group. I wanted to see how many people actually were aware that their children were now going to a different school as previously proposed , whether or not any of them were asked by the Board members how they felt about the change because you know someone from Westwoods said they wanted to stay at NSE because that is where their kids friends are. So does that mean kids from LCA haven’t built friendships at their school? No one asked me or my kids how they felt about it either. Btw those that I conversed with had no idea what I was talking about nor did they have kids, everyone must of been working.So what I was expecting is something like this:
And I'm sure that's what Pseudo-elitist and MEESH felt like they were seeing, even though the reality is this:
Trying to make sense of this all--how people could fear little kids because they come from poorer families (Is it contagious? Will some 2nd-grade slut seduce my junior into a life of crime and crack houses? What happens when Harvard finds out that my daughter was once in a reading group with a child on Food Stamps?), I thought of one more image:
This is William "Buzzy" Cooke, old upper-middle-class white guy and the former principal of Forrest Oak and Brandywine Springs for whom the new Cooke Elementary is named.
I've known Buzzy for years, as have thousands of Red Clay parents. Buzzy fervently believes (and practiced based on that belief for over thirty years) that the purpose of public schools is to love, cherish, and teach every child who walks through the doors. No matter where they come from, no matter what baggage they've been saddled with ...
I remember the dedication ceremony for Cooke Elementary where many people (including my wife) spoke about Buzzy's values and how fitting it would be to have a new school named after this gentle man ...
... which makes me think that sometime soon Buzzy will call up the district and ask to have his name removed from a school whose surrounding community is so fearful of a few dozen small children from"the other side of the tracks" that they've lost their minds.
Then we could rename the building in a more appropriate manner (because the name has suddenly become available):