Over the last few years, there’s been abundant discussion about safety.
Are schools safe?
According to a college professor, not if you’re black.
On Tuesday, New York University Professor David Kirkland tweeted about getting back to the daily grind — and discovering the same ol’ same ol’:
“I’m reading today’s education headlines, which makes it all but clear that the country is trending toward in-person school reopenings. My biggest fear is that, as we rush to reopen, nothing will change. Those who are vulnerable will remain vulnerable. Wash. Rinse. Repeat.”
I'm reading today's education headlines, which makes it all but clear that the country is trending toward in-person school reopenings. My biggest fear is that, as we rush to reopen, nothing will change. Those who are vulnerable will remain vulnerable. Wash. Rinse. Repeat.
— David E. Kirkland (@davidekirkland) March 2, 2021
Some users commented on COVID-19:
It’s insane. We are months away from getting all the teachers vaccinated.
— TEB-Art Photo (@teb_art) March 3, 2021
David, check this out. Our governor is reopening everything to 100% and removing the mask mandate. For now, our district is proceeding with caution. I am praying they continue to be wise. TEA has not released a statement. Red zone, here comes Texas again. https://t.co/cJDiUGwwWb
— Writer.Teacher.Friend. (@KionnaLeMalle) March 2, 2021
Our 6 ft hybrid physical set up has been replaced with “do the best you can” as our class sizes have now doubled.
— David Monseur (@dmonseur) March 2, 2021
Apparently, they didn’t understand.
The teacher schooled ’em:
“It’s not just about vaccines or COVID. If you’re Black, you’re not safe in U.S. schools.”
It’s not just about vaccines or COVID. If you’re Black, you’re not safe in U.S. schools. https://t.co/gVXVzRdbUS
— David E. Kirkland (@davidekirkland) March 3, 2021
As noted by The Daily Wire, “When asked to clarify what made American schools unsafe for black children, Kirkland did not respond to requests for comment.”
David’s not alone at NYU: In August, I wrote about the “Black Violets NYU.”
The student group was hoping for a “themed engagement community” on campus.
Hence, it created a Change.org petition.
From the webpage:
We, members of the Black student body, demand that NYU implement Black student housing on campus in the vein of themed engagement floors across first-year and upperclassmen residence halls. These floors would serve to celebrate Black culture and build community among Black-identifying students. The conditions to support this proposal include:
- Floors completely comprised of Black-identifying students with Black Resident Assistants
- Black Programming and In-Hall Events, curated by the RA and the floor community
- Required Bias and Diversity Training for ALL residents before entering NYU housing
- Disciplinary Action for Discriminatory/Racist Behavior within residence halls
- Creation of a Board of Student Leaders in Residential Life
- Focused on Tackling Issues of Diversity and Racism within Res Halls
And here’s the Why:
The creators of this petition were fortunate enough to be paired together freshman year. Through our personal experience, we recognize the value of living with another Black student and having a safe space where we felt free to express ourselves to the highest degree. Too often in the classroom and in residential life, black students bear the brunt of educating their uninformed peers about racism. This assumed responsibility is exhausting and undoubtedly unfair to NYU’s black community. Black students should not be forced to do the labor of explaining cultural touchstones (like hair rituals) and advocating for their humanity within their own homes. There is not one space on campus entirely dedicated to Black student life. Black Lives Matter cannot be reduced to a slogan sent in university-wide emails. Now is the time for NYU to create tangible change to support its Black students. We are hoping that Black Living communities can spark a new effort towards comprehensive Black inclusion across NYU.
Back to reopening schools, not everyone agrees on the racial implications.
From the Wire:
Multiple studies have uncovered that school closures have had a disproportionately negative impact on black and Hispanic students. According to a study by the academic non-profit NWEA, a review of fall semester test scores found that minority students were underperforming in reading, while their peers scored in pre-pandemic reading levels.
Another study from Yale University discovered that pandemic-related school closures are exacerbating educational inequality by impacting the academic progress of children from low-income neighborhoods. Meanwhile, the closures have had minimal impact on students from the country’s richest communities.
As for David, he got an online Amen:
The reopening of schools is like the covid vaccine distribution, white people’s needs come first, second, third, fourth…
— Nancy Cardwell (@NancysEdNotes) March 2, 2021
And perhaps a hint of another:
We missed a great opportunity to reimagine schools to finally make a difference for all students. Instead we focused on details that frankly don’t matter. It’s not too late. I hope schools use their reopening teams to think about how to address the obvious inequities in schools.
— Dr. Jonathan Alfred Brown (@DrJAEBrown) March 2, 2021
He also incited the opposite:
Not safe from what?
— JimMcNulty (@JimMcNulty19) March 3, 2021
You are nuts
— joe (@JosephVrabec) March 3, 2021
David’s certainly right that everyone should be safe at school.
But — it seems to me — unless society can agree on who is safe and why they aren’t, there’s not a whole lot that can be done.
Perhaps that’s why the Black Violets wanted their own space.
For now, those looking to get away from white students might have a shot at Cornell: The Ivy League university recently promoted a (later-modified) not-for-whites rock climbing class:
Ivy League School Offers Rock Climbing Class for Everyone But White Students
— RedState (@RedState) February 28, 2021
Speaking of, we’ve got a mountain of problems to figure out.
See more pieces from me:
Find all my RedState work here.
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