We all know something important happened this weekend, and I’m not talking about the canonization of Glenn Beck. Saturday, August 28th, 2010 celebrated the 47th anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I have a dream” speech. And yet for black students at Nettleton Middle School in Mississippi, this year marks the first time they will be allowed to run for class president.
That’s right. Until now, “the school had predetermined that class presidents and treasurers of the sixth, seventh, and eighth grades could only be white,” according to Newsweek. Black students in the seventh and eighth grades “were excluded from three out of four positions.”
On their website, the Superintendent says, “Nettleton School District acknowledges and embraces the fact that we are growing in ethnic diversity and that the classifications of Caucasian and African-American no longer reflect our entire student body.” Good news, Latinos and Asians – now you can run for class treasurer, too!
This is of course not the first and (unfortunately) probably won’t be the last instance of racism in American schools. You may remember back in June when an Arizona school was pressured by a local politician and radio personality to remove children of color from a mural depicting local students. It’s mind-boggling that this type of thing still occurs in “post-racial America.” Looks like we still have some way to go before Dr. King’s dream is fully realized.