Ending Discrimination in Schools

Nathan Tabor

7/3/2007 12:01:00 AM - Nathan Tabor

An intriguing ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court could re-open discussion about the brainwashing that occurs in all-too-many public school classrooms these days.

The High Court this week issued a thumbs-down to so-called "diversity" plans in two large school districts that use race as a factor in assigning students. According to an Associated Press report, the ruling could affect not only schools in Seattle and Louisville, but could impact like-minded plans in hundreds of school systems around the country.

Chief Justice John Roberts said the school districts involved "failed to show that they considered methods other than explicit racial classifications to achieve their stated goals." Roberts and the rest of the Court majority believe that the proposals in Seattle and Louisville conflicted with Constitutional guarantees for equal protection. Granted, the Court was split 5-4, but a decision is a decision, and one can only hope this decision deals a fatal blow to ill-conceived race-based school policies.

Of course, liberals are already offering a knee-jerk assessment of the decision. Justice Stephen Breyer in his dissent said, "To invalidate the plans under review is to threaten the promise of Brown (v. Board of Education)." But wasn't the dream of civil rights leader Martin Luther King to establish a society when people weren't judged on race, but on the content of their character? As the Bush Administration argued, racial diversity may be a noble goal, but it should only be achieved by race-neutral means.

Lawyer Teddy Gordon argued that the Louisville district's plan was a form of discrimination. In the AP report, he's quoted as saying," Clearly, we need better race-neutral alternatives. Instead of spending zillions of dollars around the country to place a black child next to a white child, let's reduce class size. All the schools are equal. We will no longer accept that an African-American majority within a school is unacceptable."

Let's keep in mind here that it was parents themselves who were upset with the programs in Seattle and Louisville, and it was the parents who sued. Now, it would stand to reason that parents are in the best position to determine what kind of educational plan is best for their own children. They're far more concerned about whether Johnny can read than who Johnny sits next to in class. No child should have his or her educational opportunities limited because of race. America is supposed to be the land of freedom—not a place where arcane bureaucratic rules and outdated theories of education reign supreme. Parents should have the greatest flexibility in determining where their children go to school—particularly since it's the parents' tax dollars that are supporting the schools. It's simply wrong to hang a sign on a schoolhouse door saying only a certain percentage of blacks or whites are allowed in.

It's morally repugnant to the vast majority of Americans to discriminate against anyone based on race. Therefore, it's time to retire the liberal guilt which states that we have to assign students to schools based on race. Otherwise, we'll never achieve the color-blind society envisioned by King.