One comment in a recent post about the school rezonings certainly demonstrated an underlying attitude of racism that appears to be shared by many of the parents decrying rezonings to schools like Central and Austin East.
The poster stated, "far too much $$$ has been thrown at A-E with too little attention given to whether that $$$ produced academic results, or even adequate enrollment numbers." "Far too much money?" Who says? Is this poster, like our illustrious President, the Decider?
And does the Poster/Decider have at her fingertips complete and accurate information about the results of that "too much $$$$"?
How much is too much money to spend on a high school that was, until a little over ten years ago, routinely and systematically robbed of any semblance of equity with other schools in our system? Think about it - Austin East was given the leftover scrapings at the bottom of the barrel, when the barrel itself is barely adequate. Austin East was the dumping ground; when another school got new textbooks, furniture, supplies and resources, Austin East got what was being replaced. Given how long it takes to get anything replaced, how much use do you think was left for the Austin East students?
The students and community of Austin East were, for generations, treated with a level of blatant disregard, discrimination and distaste that few white parents in any Knox County school or neighborhood can even begin to imagine...should they choose to try.
And, when the Office of Civil Rights found that the conditions there didn't complying with the Brown v. Board of Education ruling of 40 years earlier, our School Board spent money to bring Austin East conditions up to par with other schools. To simplify, we spent money to make Austin East on equal footing to other (barely adequate) schools because the courts said we had to.
And that is "throwing money"??? Please.
As to the Poster's opinion that too little attention has been paid to academic results, she would do well to remember that generations of oppression are not likely to be undone in one decade.
Our community is a long, long way from having spent too much money at Austin East, and a long, long way from admitting to the poison of racism that is so close to the surface.
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