It's a conspiracy…a C-O-N-spiracy!   3 comments

Last week I wrote about the plight of one Gwinnett parent, whose child has a disability. At the time, we thought dealing with the ignorance would be contained to Special Education issues but as I learned this morning, we were both wrong. Dead wrong. This is the text I received this morning:

‘Guess what Monise, the principal of Meadowcreek had the Parent Coordinator tell me that he doesn’t want me to volunteer any more because I spoke up at the Title I meeting held on Friday here at Meadowcreek HS. And that my interest isn’t in the best interest for the school.”

I couldn’t believe that (actually I could but didn’t think any person was actually dumb enough to tell the parent of a child they could not volunteer, especially when federal dollars are tied to Parent Centers). In fact, I am still a little shocked and a whole lotta pissed. Why? Because we have heard people say that parents, especially those of the Black and Brown hues, do not care about education because we only show-up for sporting events or when our kids are in trouble. Here we have a parent, armed with the assistance of an (free) advocate, a grasp of Special Education Law and No Child Left Behind (NCLB), who asks some questions (apparently the right ones) about the qualifications of her child’s teacher. How does the administration respond? The same way they usually do when they realize people are ‘on to them:’ They shut down and the walls go up. READ: ‘She knows too much and we don’t want her in this building everyday, talking to other parents and informing them of their rights.’ Kinds sounds like the reasoning slave owners used to keep slaves from learning to read. Only this time, the overseer (principal) is Black. Yep, direct descendant of Uncle Tom.

Now let me break-down the steps of the Conspiracy Theory:

  1. Talking heads and education ‘experts’ say parents don’t care. READ: Black, Brown, and low SES parents don’t care about education;
  2. Federal government waives extra money at districts to create Parent Centers to increase parental involvement;
  3. Districts indoctri, er…. hire people they know will only give parents enough information, but not too much;
  4. Said people mentioned in #3 should, when possible, be members of said disinterested parental groups, also known as tokenism in an effort to thwart any claims of racism when the superintendent says something stupid;
  5. Once this Parent Center is established, make sure that the building principal has complete control and liberty to select volunteers (yes, that’s an oxymoron);
  6. Any parent who asks questions of the Stepford Parent Coordinator should be annihilated immediately. Inform them that their services as a volunteer are no longer needed.
  7. If steps 1-6 are followed as directed, you can continue to assert (lie) that Black, Brown, and low SES students cannot and will not learn because their parents do not care about education;
  8. Repeat as often as necessary to perpetuate the opportunity gap.

Sometimes I feel like I am living in a bad dream..people can’t really be this stupid and careless, can they?

3 responses to “It's a conspiracy…a C-O-N-spiracy!

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  1. Wow, I am white, 40, father of a beautiful Autistic son. I too, feel the EXACT same way about how schools treat certain parents. SO I ran for school board, won. Ran for president: won. HAs it gotten me anywhere? Not sure yet, but it has indeed confirmed for me that schools are NOT in this for the parents at all, they are convinced parents are the problem in so many cases…..

    My heart goes out to you. Stay strong. Fight the good fight. GO to board meetings! Write a Blog!!!!!! Do not let them get away with stigmatizing your status as parent. Period!

  2. Well, what I’ve had teachers tell me in my rich, mostly WHITE district is that they (the teachers) have been told never to approach parents with the posibility that their child may have a learning disability or any kind of special need. If the child already has a diagnosis then the district has to support it, but the school/teachers are not to call attention to anything that is not already identified because the school does not want to apply the resources if they don’t have to. (Or they simply don’t have them.) This is in a district that is relatively well funded–and THEY don’t have the resources. So I would guess that the heart of what is going on is that your friend would call attention to a lack of resource provision. Whether that’s a conspiracy aimed especially at people of color, or just an attempt to conserve resources across the board, I can’t say without being there. I can only tell you that in our school district they try to give as little help as possible to everyone. :\

    • Well that’s sad all around. What’s troubling is the fact that parents are labeled as apathetic or disinterested but when someone wants to volunteer, they are shafted. It’s crazy and it needs to stop. You are right about teachers not being able to approach parents about a learning disability ( or any kind) because their are procedural safeguards in place; there is a proper and legal way to address any concerns about academics/behavior. However, the district needs to realize that students’ needs have to come before budgetary concerns, especially since they will receive additional funding for students with disabilities. I think the real problem is mismanagement/use of funds…the money is there.

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