Friday, December 30, 2005

Respond to racist e-mail? Here's more

Plenty of comments to yesterday's post on whether school board member George Dunlap should reply to a racist e-mail he received, and if so, what he should say. Feel free to add your own thoughts.
Today I received this from reader Jim Jordan in Laurinburg, about 100 miles east of Charlotte if you head toward Wilmington. Jordan wrote:
"Once I was sitting at the dinner table talking about the integration of the University of Mississippi. My father suddenly called me a 'n----- lover.' I told him that he might be correct and I also loved him.
"I've discovered over my years in teaching that there are people of all races who dislike to the point of hatred people of other races. Usually this has to do with something that happened up to five hundred years ago and had only a nominal effect of the people doing the hating. We recipients of the hatred have to consider the source and move on with our lives.
"I can understand the problems with the CMS system. It isn't simply that the voters continue to elect idiots - not especially their fault when good people refuse to run for the School Board and your only choice is the lesser of the two idiots. It also has to do with the history of integration in CMS.
"Court ordered busing and really long bus trips all over the county aren't going to please many people. More important than that, it puts kids who do not know each other and have never had any experience dealing with each other in the same school. One group will consider the school 'theirs' and the other group will be the interlopers. It's not going to be a pretty sight.
"Then in the late 1960's and early 1970's the CMS Board and administration sent out a message to teachers and administrators. 'We expect you to keep order but if you get into trouble you swing in the wind alone.' That in itself was enough to create a hemorrhage of teachers out of CMS that the system is dealing with today. More importantly it created the idea of an acceptable level of chaos.
"Kids, whether black, white, Asian, or whatever are going to act like kids. That means quite often irresponsibly and always on the edge of the boundaries. It only takes one kid going beyond the pale every day to destroy the learning environment in the classroom. If the classroom teacher gets no support and no help in managing a disorderly student and is also held accountable for all the testing - well, you have problems.
"Now having said that, I'll say this. I taught from 1966 until I retired in 2000. At no time, even during the darkest days of school riots, did I ever see black students as more of a discipline problem than white students. I realized early on that black students were more likely to be referred to discipline than white students. If they were referred they were more likely to be suspended or expelled. But the problem tended to be this zero-tolerance, one-size-fits-all policy that we developed to avoid being sued. Kids are individuals, we're told. Why not treat them as individuals and let the lawyers have at it?
"Should Mr. Dunlap reply? I think not. What difference would it make to the person who wrote him? What should Mr. Dunlap do? Deal with the CMS problems, that begin with a childishly acting board, and move on to everything else that troubles the system.
"There will always be people around who don't like you for some reason. Don't worry about it and do your job."

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Kudos to those who recommend Mr. Dunlap reply to the email politely, move on and focus on his job.
He should not use his taxpayer-funded email to fan hate.
Through life and the public schools, my family has learned that good people and mean people come in all colors. That's a valuable lesson. Mr. Dunlap needs to recognize it as well, and move on to educating those who have been hurt by hate that educational opportunities exist.
Use your podium, Mr. Dunlap, to show that scholarships and financial opportunities are available. Lead by example, and champion others who have succeeded despite odds.
"Good and evil both increase at compound interest."
--C.S. Lewis

Anonymous said...

I think it is wonderful that Mr. Dunlap is no longer responding in hate. His fighting hate with hate only feeds the monster. Maybe next year he will work on his responses to his colleagues.

Anonymous said...

There is no point in responding. The leaders in the position Mr. Dunlap is in - need to rise above the petty nonsense. Now if he could impart that wisdom into his working with the other board members - he would be better off for it.

Anonymous said...

tibia money tibia gold tibia item runescape money runescape gold tibia money tibia gold runescape gold runescape accounts tibia gold tibia money runescape money runescape gp buy runescape gold tibia gold tibia item buy runescape money runescape gold runescape items tibia money tibia gold