Justice John G. Roberts Jr., who wrote the majority opinion that the
school assignment practices unfairly denied students their choice of
schools because of race, said school authorities had failed to
provide the necessary support for the proposition that there is no other
way than individual racial classification to avoid racial isolation in
Unless a district’s assignment practices are totally
race-neutral, they are unconstitutional.... As Justice Roberts pointed
out, “The way to stop discrimination on the basis of race is to
discrimination on the basis of race.”...
Breyer is party to the deliberate or ignorant
integration (racial balancing) and desegregation.... As
Justice Thomas points out, “Every time government uses racial criteria
to ‘bring the races together,’ someone gets excluded, and the person
excluded suffers an injury solely because of his or her race.” Thomas
points out that exclusion based solely on race is precisely the sort of
government action that pits the races against one another, exacerbates
racial tension and provokes resentment among those who believe they have
been wronged by the government’s use of race.
In 1954 the Supreme Court in the case of
Brown v. Bd. of Ed.
of Topeka, ruled that segregated schools are unconstitutional. Sane
Americans cheered the ruling assuming the decision referred to
deliberate state-sponsored racial assignment to deliberately
segregate the schools. But for more than a half century the
decision has been twisted to include a lack of what social
engineers deem a proper level of racial/ethnic diversity
in each school, thus promoting assignment based on race instead of ending it.
Education is the function of public schools, not social
The practice of considering race and ethnicity in school
assignment has devastated thousands of school districts and killed the
vital environment of the neighborhood school. The neighborhood
school is no longer the hub of a community. Thus parents are
denied vital parental involvement in and monitoring of the schools their
children attend. School pride and community interest and support has
been struck down. The practice has devastated communities where parents
once worked together for good discipline. It has kept students who
attend school together from being able to easily socialize and work
together after school hours. It has wasted billions upon billions of tax
dollars and precious (and expensive) fuel and has subjected students to
traffic dangers and diesel fumes on buses. It has caused untold
inconvenience for both parents and students.
The National Association for Neighborhood Schools (NANS) (www.nans.org)
cheers the June 28 Supreme Court ruling which is a victory for Seattle
and Jefferson County parents and which no doubt will make use of race as
a factor in school assignment more difficult to justify. We would be
amiss, however, if we did not stress the lingering opportunity for
racial control of assignment.
We would also be amiss if we did not point out the long road
ahead of ridding individual states and school districts of diversity
requirements necessitating racial/ethnic consideration in school
assignment and of the need to return to the neighborhood school concept
in all of the nation’s school districts.
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