by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
Teachers’ unions and administrators in wealthy districts talk a big game about diversity and inclusion, until it comes to letting kids from “other school zones” into their classrooms. That most schools would rather design a diversity and equity program than fight for school choice, which would actually achieve diversity and equity in the classroom, is an indication that the system is broken. That’s especially since a majority of minorities, including 66 percent of black Americans, support school choice.
Our district’s summer reading list solidifies this belief. One of the recommended books is a kid’s version of “Stamped” by Ibrahim Kendi. The book says it will teach kids to “learn how to identify and stamp out racist thoughts in their own lives.” It’s the latest installment—along with critical race theory—in teaching our kids that their skin color is more important than their God-given gifts and what they can accomplish with them.
I refuse to let my kids believe that. I don’t want my kids—or any child—being taught that children of color do not have agency. And I’m not the only one. …
… Our country’s greatest achievements in civil rights were led by black people who refused to believe the system was stronger than they were. Many Black Americans have consistently demonstrated our country’s greatest virtues: mental toughness, resilience, and grit in pushing our country forward to achieve the promise of the Declaration of Independence.
The great legacy of the civil rights movement is to ensure all children are taught they have greatness inside of them and feel empowered to shape our nation for the better. This is something that my children, and their friends, learned alongside one another in Catholic school.
That spirit of community and believing in one another—regardless of race—has been lost in public school. For that reason, we might not be going back.