If we still have segregated proms in the American South, including in Mississippi, why not segregated middle school elections? Welcome to Nettleton Middle School, where not only are class elections segregated, but the president slots are designated for white students.
But even segregated proms have an apparent black equivalent. In this middle school class officers election, there's no pretense of separate but equal: The highest a black student can aspire to is vice president of just one of the classes. Because it's not like a black person can be president or anything!
Mixed And Happy, an online community for mixed-race families, first got wind of the situation from a parent at the school, who also found out that there are segregated prom and homecoming kings and queens. Among the many things that are wrong with this scenario is the fact that multiracial students, or those who are neither black or white, are erased. As the mother, Brandy, wrote Mixed And Happy,
"My son and daughter that go to this middle school are Native American and Italian. But, we also have 3- and 6- year olds that are African American and Italian. I would like to know which category they would lump them in. I have always taught my children not to see race. This is so disgusting to me."
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Brandy's daughter had wanted to be class 'reporter," but because her mother is white and her father is black, she wasn't eligible for the black-designated position. When Brandy complained to the School Board, "They told me that they 'Go by the mother's race b/c with minorities the father isn't generally in the home.' They also told me that 'a city court order is the reason why it is this way.'"
Late last night, the principal of the school posted a statement on its website:
"Student elections have not yet been held at Nettleton Middle School for the 2010-2011 school term. The processes and procedures for student elections are under review. We are reviewing the origin of these processes, historical applications, compliance issues, as well as current implications and ramifications. A statement will be released when review of these processes is complete."
Apparently it's just come to their attention that they're systematically racist! Thanks, Internet.
Update: More details on the school, including its handbook-mandated homecoming segregation and black principal, as well as further comments from the mother who first complained.
: Second Update: The school has reversed its policy, saying it was a rotation put into place 30 years ago to ensure diversity.
Class President? Must Be White To Apply At This Mississippi School! [Mixed And Happy]
Class Officers Segregated By Race [TSG]
Earlier: Morgan Freeman Brings Integrated Prom To Mississippi School
When Tradition Destroys Progress