To the Editor:
Regarding Peter Sacks’ Commentary on schools’ composition in the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court’s recent decision in the student-assignment cases Parents Involved in Community Schools v. Seattle School District and Meredith v. Jefferson County Board of Education (“It’s Time to Confront the Class Divide in American Schools,” Sept. 12, 2007):
Everyone has an opinion about race relations in the United States. But what is different in the education field is that we have moved away from the approach of the forced-integration years to one of freedom in 2007.
Mr. Sacks clearly has never seen what effects busing and other methods of forced integration have had on children. I experienced this firsthand in the Charlotte-Mecklenburg, N.C., school district years ago. It was not uncommon for students to sit on a bus, without seat belts, for up to an hour on the highway, fighting crosstown traffic, all because there were not enough Caucasians in their school’s original racial makeup.
Forced integration to create the perfect mix is not only wrong, it also hurts kids. Schools should be about children and their neighborhood. If that neighborhood happens to be of one ethnic group, so be it. Why should the politically correct ideologues tell the school district to mix things to achieve a “better” configuration?
On the most basic level, racial integration based on numbers is racial profiling. Racial profiling is not acceptable for law enforcement, but it is OK for school districts?
It is wrong to force integration: It wastes money and gasoline, and children suffer by not being with their neighborhood friends. Now, parents once again have control of their children’s educational path. Mr. Sacks does not realize that the current Supreme Court ended what was a sad program that never had any hard data to support itself, and showed only meager, if any, gains.
Scott E. Van Vooren
East Fallowfield, Pa.