Thursday, January 11, 2007

"They Think We're Nerds"

Lots of interesting and detailed discussion about BOE member Deena Hayes's comment that the GCS VSN middle school program creates a "slave and slave master" relationship among students at Lincoln Academy, where my daughter goes to school.

But Ms. Hayes doesn't provide any evidence that that's the way the kids at the school think of their interactions. She only quotes a Lincoln sixth-grader who talks about "the smart white kids."

Well, yes, they're smart. That's why they applied the VSN program. But "slave and slave-master?" Deena needs to back that up with some real evidence.

We had an interesting discussion about this over dinner tonight. My daughter is very happy in the Lincoln VSN program, partly because, as she said (rather sneeringly) to her older siblings, "it's a lot better than that white Christian school you go to" (my older kids go to BMCHS). "There's more culture there."

By "culture" I think she meant "mingling" with the neighborhood kids, mostly black, in her art, P.E., and drama classes, as well as with the global studies and performing arts kids.

When I asked her whether she thought there was any "slave and slave master" stuff going on at Lincoln, she just laughed and said, "they just think we're nerds." (Evidence of this is her and her friends' embrace of Weird Al's hit parody White and Nerdy.) But she said she liked the opportunity to get to know that kids who dressed, talked, and thought differently from her were "nice" for all that. "They're just kids."

I was glad to hear that, since it was one of the reasons we wanted her to go there.

Who knows, maybe some of those neighborhood kids like going to school with her, too.


Anonymous said...

I loved reading your daughter's take on being at Lincoln. Liz, my daughter, is having the best middle school experience---I have never seen her so happy or excited. I posted my comments about Lincoln on Hogg's Blog a few days ago, but I just wanted you to know that I enjoyed reading yours.

Anonymous said...

Did you happen to read Allen Johnson's defense of this racist slur that only a Black Deena Hayes could get away with. Dear Lord sometimes I think the world would be so much better off if this gereration between ages 40 and 60 could just quietly fade into the wood work. The ones of us who are older and lived during the bad times and the beginning of the changes KNOW just how far the civil rights movement and change in people's attitudes has come. Those under the age of 30 either don't know what all the fuss is about, or don't care and just want to live their lives. The young infact understand that we all don't have to like everyone or associate with everyone and race has little or nothing to do with it. It is choice and the right to choose. This is all Mr. KIng was talking about when he was talking to a group of us white civil rights working kids in a park in 1960, and I think we have come a long way towards his dream. If the 'tweenies" would just shut to Hell up! Brenda Bowers