Lu and I spoke in front of the school board last night.
I made copies of the "What's Your Bias?" paper Lu had received in class, and started passing them out to the board members. I told them, "Let's pretend for a moment that I'm your employer. I am telling you that you must fill this test out, or risk having a written disciplinary action that could affect your job." As I got to the end of the line of people who wanted a copy, the school principal said, "WHERE did you get this?!"
I responded that many of the middle-schoolers were given this survey, and told if they did not fill it out, they would fail the class for the day and be given a zero. Even though many of the children were clearly uncomfortable with the survey, they were still forced to complete it. I can't remember everything I said, but I do remember saying, "Our children had no choice but to make a prejudiced decision."
When I was finished with my allotted 2 minutes, Lu stood up. She started out with, "I was one of the students who had to take this test." She told them how she felt; how her best friend felt like she was labeled (she is Native American), and how upset/mad she was that she was forced to make a choice based on the color of someone's skin.
I was very, very proud of her. It's scary standing up and speaking in front of a lot of strange adults at age 13. But she wanted to come and tell them exactly what she thought about that test.
Not sure what will happen with this, but I am hopeful that action will be taken at this point. The board members were horrified with the survey, just as much as I was.
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