Before I get into this story, allow me to give you some insight into the wonderful state of Mississippi:
Percent of people who have completed high school: 50th with 77.3 percent. Eight out of the bottom 10 are Southern states.
Percent of kids 0-5 who are read to every day: 50th with 38.1 percent. Once again, eight of the bottom 10 are Southern states.
Best-educated index: 49th, with a score of -14.31.
Library visits per capita: 48th.
The list goes on in terms of ineptitude ranging from being near the bottom of the sewer in education, transportation, and overall health. I bring this succinct list to you to complement the point of the following.
I was completely unaware that there is a school district in Mississippi that still determines class elections by race. Now that I’m aware of this, I can’t say that I’m shocked in the least. A district in Nettletown, MS, as of recently has determined who can run for specific positions in the student government by race. According to the memo from the school that describes which race can take which position, the rotation for eighth grade is as follows:
What a shock – the president must be white!
The school has recently canned the idiotic rotation following outcry from parents. The policy was instated 30 years ago to “promote racial equality.”
Yeah? How exactly is relegating certain positions to certain races promoting racial equality? “Sorry, you’re black, which means you can’t have the same equal chance that the white guys have at being the President.”
Last time I checked, the root word of “equality” was “equal.”
Schools are supposed to prepare their students for life – and when it comes to Mississippi, not much preparation is needed. However, there are some kids with aspirations higher than becoming a professional catfish noodler – which means they want to be prepared for the real world that will smack them upside the head when they graduate by holding their breath for ten seconds and determining that 2+2 in fact may equal something other than four.
All sarcasm aside, the point is simple: In this age of affirmative action, what the hell kind of message does this race-contingent class election send to the kids? Will they think that they may not be able to work drive-thru on certain days if they aren’t white? Will they be confused when they step into a workplace and see people of all races working together toward a common goal?
Then again, public high schools everywhere are already conditioning kids for the real world job market – well, at least two of the most important points: cliques and favoritism.
Now, I couldn’t find a list of student demographics on their poorly-made website, but I will pose this question: What if there are Hispanic and Asian students there? What, are they just screwed out of running for student government? That’s just shameful.
…Then again, no child should ever aspire to be a part of any government, period. Student governments are about as effective as the one we’ve had for the past 234 years. The most that it does is creates yet another social hierarchy within the school, albeit a smaller one. Besides, it’s always the popular little brats that get elected, anyway. There’s never any hope for the little, less popular guy with better ideas to be elected – unless you’re in Napoleon Dynamite. Sounds an awful lot like our current system of government, eh? There’s another way schools set kids up for the future.
All tangential, superfluous yammering aside, I’m glad that Nettleton finally gathered enough collective brain matter to realize that this isn’t 1970, and that true racial equality is providing an EQUAL opportunity for ALL colors to run for ALL offices.
Or, they just got tired of hearing parents whine.