Posted by Chris on August 04, 2000 at 18:45:28:
In Reply to: Reply to Those Who Ponder... posted by Ronald Federici on August 04, 2000 at 17:28:47:
: It is always dangerous to jump into the middle of such discussions, but I just want to give some OBSERVATIONS I have made. I have been teaching 5th-6th grade in a racially mixed school district on Long Island, New York for 20 years. This large village had been racially mixed for many years before I ever entered the school district. Right now the population breaks down to 40% hispanic, 38% black, 20% white, and 2% asian (please don't hold me to the correct PC terms). Multi-Cultural education (for better or worse-another story, another day) has been BIG here for many years. We do have a significant transient population, but the large majority of children have been born and raised here. In my large elementary school, (1200 students, 5th and 6th grade only), I have noticed that although the children seem to accept and respect each other for their good or bad human qualities (not color), the majority will gather with their OWN race on the playground, after school, whenever they are given freedom to do so. Why? I believe as some of you have said, SIMPLY because they are most COMFORTABLE and PREFER it. I have also noticed that in the faculty lunch room, the majority of teachers will sit with their own race for conversation. I don't believe religious differences are a factor in any of this apparently preferred seating. That's all. -Ronnie
I have worked in a number of racially mixed schools in Anchorage and find the same thing here. Interestingly enough, it is not so true in the younger elementary grades, but is definitely a trend by junior high and high school. Race is not an issue with the younger kids until they have to fill in one of the stupid government forms. Which race box does a child who is half White, 1/4 Tlingit, 1/8 Mexican and 1/8 Chinese check? (The children of friends of mine.) But, like you, don't get me started...
I haven't had time to catch up on this thread yet, so I hope I'm not stepping on too many toes. If I am, please let me know (gently), and I'll try to repair the damage when I get back home next week.
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