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I am on the side of assigning children to school as close to their homes as possible

By John R Dykers
Posted Thursday, February 3, 2011

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Siler City, NC - Balancing the integrity of "culture" and the understanding of "diversity" is not easy, and we should be kind to one another as we try to do so and save money at the same time.

My bias: We are all one race, the human race. We don't internalize this reality readily because it is so much easier to identify with our family, tribe, language and culture as we grow up. Broadening our experience so that we identify with our fellow human beings worldwide is crucial to the integrity of human civilization. (Please note the intolerance of jihadists schooled in madrasses who consider many of their fellow human beings to be infidels who should be killed.)

I'm a hypocrite: I took Anne and Trip to Durham Academy every day from the time they were five and three years old and I can only plead that Anne was exceptional and we did not know if Trip would be able to learn the alphabet much less learn to read, and in 1965 we did not have facilities here to help them. Also, both returned here later for school and had a wonderful experience. But I learned the tremendous cost of "bussing" these children and one of those costs was in thier time and energy dissipated by the travel.

I come down solidly on the side of assigning children to school as close to their homes as is possible.

Despite my hypocracy and my bias, I come down solidly on the side of assigning children to school as close to their homes as is possible. It is certainly the least expensive pattern. Those of us in favor of community schools should strive to encourage those schools to be fully welcoming to everyone in that geographical unit. I can remember when both black and white children were bussed past a school to attend one farther away because such was required by law to maintain separation by skin color. Then we did the same thing to require mixing, so we have had to do a lot of suffering to grow out of our natural tendency to find it easier to be with folks "like us".

We should also be flexible if a child has a special need to attend a school not closest to home. (Then I won't be so much of a hypocrite!)

Casper, the Chatham County Ghost - I once wrote a newspaper under a pen name, so I can understand that protection. But if you want to advocate for PAR in our own county, you should do so up front, sign your name and take the heat and the credit. Maybe you have already done so on Facebook - I don't navigate there very well yet.

I fully agree with both of you about sacrificing administrative bureaucracy to put more teachers in the classroom. Find us an administrator who will abolish their position to create money for teaching and you will have found a true modern hero. (There was the owner who fired herself so she could keep paying her employees and hold her company together.)

And this is not just about parents and their children - it is about all citizens and the kind of world we want to live in. You may quote me in context to school board or superintendent if you wish.

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I am on the side of assigning children to school as close to their homes as possible

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