Friday, September 05, 2008

What's Your Bias-- Followup

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.


DFTF said...

Good for you and Lu! I hope the Board is responsive.

Jane said...

Way to go!

GreenJello said...

I don't care as much about what I did, but I was sure proud of Lu! She made a really big impact when she spoke.

hilinda said...

Might well end up a "defining moment" for her, whatever the board ends up doing or not doing.

Do keep us posted.

And let her know a slew of folks out here in the blogosphere admire her courage and determination to do the right thing. Not many people go past talking and actually, literally, stand up for what's right.

GreenJello said...

You're right, hilinda. People are a lot of talk, and don't back it up with action.

I'm not immune from that, but I try really hard to walk my talk.

I guess it shows because my kids have picked it up, no?