Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Noose and negativity exposed at Franklin school once described as least diverse

"hang [expletive] high"

2004: "We have drawn lines between 'our children' and 'their children'"

Williamson County's Poplar Grove Middle School, described in 2004 as the least diverse school in its district, is now the subject of community concern because of racist graffiti on a bathroom wall, according to this WSMV story. Before it was removed by school officials (some say too slowly), the graffiti depicted a noose next to these words:
hang [expletive] high
According to SchoolDigger.com, in 2006 Poplar Grove had 328 caucasian, 36 African-American, 21 Hispanic, 8 Asian, and 2 American Indian students.

From February 2004:
"Poplar Grove's diversity task force hit the ground running last week in an attempt to get minority families to apply to the open-zoned, year-round school beginning today."

"The Franklin Special School District Board of Education decided earlier this month not to zone the K-8 school as it rezoned the rest of its elementary schools to even out the percentage of students from minority and low-income backgrounds. The board also required that Poplar Grove recruit at least 50 minority students in the next two years to its kindergarten class or face possible zoning. That meant that the task force needed to work fast because today is the first day the school is accepting applications for next fall. The deadline for applications is March 5."
From March 2004:
"In recent weeks, it has become evident to us as a community that lines are drawn here too. There are lines between rich and poor and still others between white, black and Hispanic. We have drawn lines between 'our children' and 'their children.' At times, such as when the Franklin Special School District board expressed its commitment to equality, it seemed we would reach for the higher plane. Then at other times, the cry of 'my child' reached such deafening proportions we could no longer hear the cry of the child down the street, or the child across town."

"Moments of bitter disappointment followed those of shining hope. In the end, not much changed. Although a few neighborhoods have been rezoned, Liberty Elementary will begin next year with most of the overwhelming challenges they faced in this one. Poplar Grove remains untouched except for the monumental challenge to diversify in the next two years."

"While some parents breathed a sigh of relief, others breathed a sigh of discouragement. Perhaps the most marked difference is that now some of us realize with new awareness, and possibly for the first time, just how divided we are. As we gaze into that ugly reality, we wonder how we can possibly mend the divide."
From March 2004:
"Poplar Grove is the [Franklin Special School District]'s only open-zoned, year-round school. It is also the least diverse school in the system. Last month the board voted to rezone its other four elementary schools in an effort to spread out the diversity but left Poplar Grove open-zoned under the stipulation that it enroll at least 50 minority students in the kindergarten class over the next two years."

"If the school cannot attract that many minority students, board members have said they will zone it."

"Once [Principal Christi] Buell knows how many of her existing students are returning next year and how many of their siblings will enroll in kindergarten, she will begin admitting new students. The top consideration for admission after siblings is minority status."
From July 2004:
"The incoming kindergarten class at Poplar Grove - which registered for classes Friday - will be the most diverse in the history of the Franklin Special School District's only year-round school."

"This year, the kindergarten class has 28% minorities, said Principal Christi Buell. That is out of a class of 100 students. Eleven percent of those students are African American, 11% are Hispanic, 3% are Asian, 3% classify themselves as other types of minorities and 72% are white."

"Last year, instead of drawing up an attendance zone for the for-choice school to get it more in line with the rest of the district's minority numbers, the school board decided to give the school two years to recruit at least 25 minority students to kindergarten. This year's numbers show that goal has been reached ahead of the deadline.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...