Government Regulations Block Child from Attending School of Choice Because He’s Black

 
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Segregated water fountains in North Carolina, 1950. (Photographer: Elliott Erwitt)

It’s a story that’s almost impossible to believe in 2016. Edmund Lee, a third-grader attending a charter school in St. Louis, recently learned that he would no longer be able to attend his school after his family moved to St. Louis County. Their new location isn’t the problem — other students from that area are allowed to attend Gateway Science Academy. He can’t attend his school of choice because he’s black:

Certain rules in place allow some county residents the opportunity to attend a city charter school, but they must live in a district participating in transfer programs, and can not be an African-American.

“When I read the guidelines I was in shock,” said La’Shieka White, Edmund’s mother. “I was crying.”

School officials say their hands are tied because of regulations created decades ago as part of a desegregation settlement.

School officials would like to continue letting Edmund attend, but say there’s nothing they can do. Edmund’s family started a petition asking state lawmakers to take action. Meanwhile, the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education issued a statement washing their hands of the situation, pointing to a legal settlement following a court ruling decades ago:

Even if the family’s new St. Louis County school district participated in the transfer program, the student would still not be able to transfer. This situation stems from the 1980 U.S. Court of Appeals ruling that the St. Louis City and County schools were maintaining segregated systems. In 1983, the schools reached a Desegregation Settlement Agreement allowing African American students to transfer into primarily white suburban school districts and for non-African American students to attend St. Louis schools. The goal was to try to balance the racial makeup of the city and county schools.

You might think little Edmund would find relief from the Obama administration, but don’t hold your breath. Although the President leaped at the opportunity to invite Clock Boy to the White House, he’s not likely to lend a hand here. You see, the Obama administration has actually tried using a decades-old desegregation case in Louisiana to keep black kids from using vouchers to escape failing district schools, an action even the Washington Post condemned as “bewildering, if not downright perverse.” Fortunately, the 5th Circuit rejected the Obama administration’s lawsuit, calling it “disingenuous.”

It’s understandable that the government had to take certain actions to reverse decades of vicious racial segregation in schools. But now a combination of bureaucratic inertia and left-wing hostility to parental choice threatens to do what the desegregation orders were intended to prevent: block black students’ access to quality schools.

It’s long past time for the government to stop standing the schoolhouse door.

There are 9 comments.

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  1. Richard Rummelhart Inactive
    Richard Rummelhart
    @RichardRummelhart

    Obama’s action must be brought out during the Presidential campaign to illustrate how far the left is willing to go to further their agenda.

    • #1
  2. Tyler Boliver Member
    Tyler Boliver
    @Marlowe

    Great article Jason. We need to continue to shine the light on this issue over and over.

    • #2
  3. drlorentz Member
    drlorentz
    @drlorentz

    The hypocrisy of the left knows no bounds. Good work, Mr. Bedrick.

    • #3
  4. Chuck Enfield Inactive
    Chuck Enfield
    @ChuckEnfield

    I don’t like to spam people with information that advances my political agenda, but I’ll be sending a link to this post to almost everybody in my contact list.  Government stupidity is plentiful, but rarely so obvious and indisputable.

    • #4
  5. Henry Castaigne Member
    Henry Castaigne
    @HenryCastaigne

    I want every Republican associated with St. Louis to meet with this family and tell them they will fight for Edmund Lee and then (this the hard part) fight for Edmund Lee. If the Democrats cave to the Teacher’s Unions and the bureaucracy then the Republicans ought to attack them in black communities.

    • #5
  6. Stu In Tokyo Inactive
    Stu In Tokyo
    @StuInTokyo

    Wait a minute, if a boy in a school can decide that he feels like a girl, and then use the girls bathroom and be on a girl’s sports team, or if that NCAAP Rachel Dolezal says she is black because she feels black, why can’t this kid say that he feels white and then the problem goes away?

    It ain’t stupid if it works.

    Domo

    • #6
  7. Johnny Dubya Inactive
    Johnny Dubya
    @JohnnyDubya

    It makes me sick that a student could be denied continuing at his school, simply on the basis of race. As Justice John Roberts once wrote, the way to stop discriminating on the basis of race is to stop discriminating on the basis of race.

    But leaving aside the injustice for a moment, I wonder, as I always do, about the practical aspects: How is such a regulation enforced? How is “black” defined? Would the student be denied if he were 1/32 African-American, as Sen. Elizabeth Warren is 1/32 Native American? 1/16? 1/8? 1/4? 1/2? Would a young Barack Obama be denied, if his white mother appealed the decision? Do the authorities know “black” when they see it, as Justice Potter Stewart said, “I know it when I see it,” referring to pornography?

    • #7
  8. Songwriter Inactive
    Songwriter
    @user_19450

    Stu In Tokyo:Wait a minute, if a boy in a school can decide that he feels like a girl, and then use the girls bathroom and be on a girl’s sports team, or if that NCAAP Rachel Dolezal says she is black because she feels black, why can’t this kid say that he feels white and then the problem goes away?

    It ain’t stupid if it works.

    Domo

    Brilliant!

    • #8
  9. Henry Castaigne Member
    Henry Castaigne
    @HenryCastaigne

    Songwriter:

    Stu In Tokyo:Wait a minute, if a boy in a school can decide that he feels like a girl, and then use the girls bathroom and be on a girl’s sports team, or if that NCAAP Rachel Dolezal says she is black because she feels black, why can’t this kid say that he feels white and then the problem goes away?

    It ain’t stupid if it works.

    Domo

    Brilliant!

    That could actually work. Why not try it?

    • #9

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