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|Rights Holder||Marlene Marie Young, Wordpower, Inc.|
|Publisher||Digitized by J. Willard Marriott Library, University of Utah|
Page 7 ke Studies, meetings and reviews may provide some answers and lead to some possible solutions but it seems evident that a complete over-haul of the educational system is needed. Dr. Arthur Wiscomb, Superintendent of the Salt Lake City Schools presented an eight point program to the NAACP at their March meeting which, in his opinion, would provide a better Esther R. Landa, S. Perry Lee, Nicholas G. Smith, William W. Cannon, Lemonte Peterson, Ada L. Burt and Robert R. Sonntag. alone. Mintz’s farm in Starksboro is the country location of the school. there, and Carl R. Child was the lone dissenter. Glen S. Burt left before the vote and Mrs. June Y. Orme and Dan S. Bushnell were unable to attend. classes are held, Task Force Members Task force members besides Mr. Freed were Charles Bennett, executive director, Teachers Assn.; Salt Mrs. Lake Nellie DeVroom, West High School PTA president; James Dooley, president, Salt Lake Chapter, National education to minority students. Association for the Advancement 1. Select the right principal for of Colored People; Afton Forsgren, inter city schools, someone who has State Board of Education; Modesto a high degree of empathy for a Mike? Gonzales, minority children. 2. To eliminate Anti-Discrimination Division, State Industrial Commission; Mrs. Landa weak teachers. We have many and Mrs. Peterson of the school teachers with personal hang ups and board; Dr. William Lockhart, prejudices. They do not have the president, Utah Chapter, American ability to inspire and motivate the minority student. 3. Transfer or Civil Liberties Union; Franklin McKean, director of admissions, suspend the teacher who has deep negative attitudes about race. 4. University of Utah; Dr. Charles — Cut the class load in inter city Nabors Jr., Utah Nonviolent Action Committee; Orville Russell West schools especially in the first and second grades. Have full day High teacher; Arthur Swan, Salt ake Area Chamber of Commerce; kindergartens. 5. Move immediately Perry Shaw, Salt Lake Teachers to approve more in-service training Assn.; Mrs. Ramona Woodhead, for teachers. 6. Increase materials and supplies in the inter city janior-Senior PTA president, and Mrs. Judee Williams, assistant schools. 7%. Fight, work and maintain federal programs such as director, Young Women’s Christian Headstart and Title I. 8. Work to Assn. employ minority teachers and On Committee teacher aides—increase volunteers from minority groups. James Dooley, president of the Sitting with the committee were Salt Lake City chapter of the Mrs. Marcella Kelley, citizen; Fred National Association for the LeBlanc, University of Utah, and Advancement of Colored People Balagon Munti, Black Brothers (NAACP), offered the Board of Organizational Society. Education a list of five suggestions, Persons providing information to combat “the continuing practice were Clayton Christensen, West by teachers of making racially High student body president; Dr. Knight Kerr, West High principal; derogatory expressions to black students in the Salt Lake City Willard Knibbe, West High assistant _ school system.” ' principal; Marvin Neal, West High 1. Mandatory disciplinary action student, and some of the students and penalty for teachers and staff involved in the incident and their members who make racially parents. There are many issues which derogatory expressions. need to be met and solved to raise 2. Making a study to determine the extent of “overt” as well as the quality of education for all and _ white. “subtle” racist practices within the students—black WORDPOWER will present several system. 3. Establishing mandatory ‘solutions and ideas with the hope sensitivity classes or meetings for that the Salt Lake school system teachers for the purpose of creating will work toward improving the better understanding of the cultural education and future lives of our characteristics and differences of children. Following is one example of innovation in teaching and black children. welcome your 4. Initiating efforts to obtain learning ...we | more black personnel for the comments and suggestions. In Burlington, Vermont, as schools “so that the schools can have something to which black everywhere else, there are kids who never make it to high school, who children can relate.” find at ten or fourteen that they 5. Making an immediate communication to all schools and and the conventional institutions staff members that while designed for their education have consideration is being given the nothing left in common. Their problem, ‘‘continuance of homes are the material of social discrimination and _ racially pathology: broken families, derogatory expressions will not be alcoholism, welfare checks. A dozen of these kids# once tolerated by the board. headed for reform school, are the The recent confrontation of Shaker Mountain between the school board and students minority groups has resulted in the School, a crazy idea that seems to temporary suspension of one West be doing well. The school began on a whim last year. Jerry Mintz, a High School teacher, James D. freewheeling young man with a Maher and four black Master’s in education, picked up a students—Kim [Edmond Benns, Augustus Carter, Larry Stills and boy hitchhiking who didn’t want to get back to school. On the spot Perry Smith, all of West High. Board President Waldo Andersen they decided to start their own. appointed a special task force to “We had $30 and a car,” Mintz, study the charge of racism and now the headmaster, recalls. “It make recommendations to the was a Plymouth; so we though board. The task force met more about calling it “The Plymouth than 10 hours Friday night, April School,’ but we finally named it 24 and Saturday morning. after the mountain behind our Suspension of the teacher was farm.” Shaker MOuntain occupies the included in the recommendation, with ideas on curriculum and hiring entire first floor and basement of practices. The four students were the former Hotel Breton on Church Burlimgton’s main apparently suspended as a form of Street, protection to them. | thoroughfare. Rent is $125 a month. Inside there are a Members Voting Aye _ comfortably cluttered meeting room, Board voting of for Education the members temporary suspension were Mr. Anderson, Mrs. mechanics room, art room, recreation room—even a cubbyhole with drawings on the wall and a mattress on the floor for ' ing , The five full-time that teachers is where where live “some some kids stay most of the time, and where most of the kids stay some of the time,’’? giving the school a semi-boarding arrangement. In the meeting room, the students look like nothing so much as the orphans in “Oliver Twist”’ — scruffy young rowdies, but charming. Long, stringy hair topped by a perky cap. Skinny bravado. A cigarette butt hanging out of the — corner of a twelve-year-old mouth. Two. play chess. A girl—one of three in the school—plays a word association game with ateacher. A boy paints a_ sign warning: BEWARE, TROUBLE MAKERS, and next to him a friend begins to weave a rug that will say: “Let there be peace in this school.”’ Next to a rack of specially selected paperback books, a boy—his feet up on a table—reads aloud to two others. The words come slowly and painfully, but there is _ no embarrassment. The kids seem both tougher and younger than their counterparts in public school. One moment a boy will be insolent; the next he'll be hugging a teacher, needing someone to hang on to. When a favorite teacher arrives, the eroups welcome him wildly. Last year, the school got by on $6,000 in small donations from foundations and friends (including one from Dr. Harvey B. Scribner, Vermont Commissioner of Education, who tithes for favorite causes). To earn money, students have made and sold gravestone rubbings, metal sculptures, candles, and paintings. The school comes on like a cheerful beggar. The teachers, all with respectable academic credentials, work for room and board, and occasional expense money. There is no tuition for students. ~-Jronically; although the.school isn’t the Plymouth, the car seems to be its central symbol. Particularly in the long, bitter winter, the daily twenty-two-mile commute between the farm and city quarters is a continuing struggle with ailing vehicles, gas, and repair bills. In addition, the school has traveled more than 10,000 miles by car on trips this year. As members of the school community (three of the kids serve as trustees), the students are part of the effort that goes into keeping everything in motion. Asked what project he would like to take on next, a student replied: ““Get the bus fixed.” Real transportation problems become educational experiences. The students went comparsion- shopping for a new school car, and then visited the bank to decide on the best financing plan—a full day’s math lesson. “The kids are turned on to doing anything with their hands,” a teacher said. “Abstract concepts dont’t make it, but then they don’t make it with any kids. They’re turned off to anything that looks like education. We have to make it Were .ue President’s proposals founded on a firm policy of integration, they could represent an important step forward. It is true, as he asserts, that the drive for desegregation in recent years has often led to increased racial fun. We do a lot in art, and now | tension, disruption of orderly one kid is digging electronics.” schooling, and resegregation as Perhaps more than anything else, whites have fled to other residential the kids are turned on by Indians. areas. Moreover, studies such as the The interest began first through Coleman report that show that Buffy Sainte-Marie records, and black children gain educationally in then by a newspaper account of a integrated classrooms have. been protest by St. Regis Mohawks on denounced vigorously by some the U.S.-Canadian border. With no black leaders as another assertion of advance notice, the group drove up white supremacy. And as the drive to the reservation and were given a for ‘integration has advanced, so has full welcome, with dances, by the. the blacks’ move for separatism. Mohawks. Since then, they’ve The integration movement has traded visits regularly, and recently been deeply disturbing to all our several of their Indian friends came institutions, customs, and to Burlington for the weekend as mores—more so than anyone the main attraction in an Indian anticipated or desired. The depth to festival at a local junior high school. which the race issue cuts across our Shaker Mountain students society became clear only when we receive scholastic accreditation attempted to move beyond through the state’s equivalency tokenism toward full integration. program. Last year, Vermont President Nixon is right to ask for a requested that the students take hard look at what we don’t know standardized reading tests at the about education and integration, beginning and close of the term. but integration cannot wait until all The students averaged a 2.]-year other social and educational ills are increase in reading ability over the cured. It is far too fundamental to period. Mintz is not particularly the “free and open society” of proud of the gain. “You can’t test which the President speaks so the most important changes.” feelingly. Indeed, the very health of In January, Mintz received an our schools and our _ society achievement award from the depends upon how well we learn to Governor's Committee on Children deal with our racial and cultural and Youth. The community seems complexities. pleased that because of Shaker It is for these reasons that the Mountain there are fewer kids “in President’s statement of policy is so trouble” these days in Burlington. disturbing. Mr. Nixon set no But whether or not the public deadline for action against de jure schools will be able to come to segregation, and offered no terms with the Shaker Mountain explanation of how the government kids in the future, no one can now would enforce.‘ its desegregation predict. policies. It has become increasingly clear that the fundamental issue is whether government has a role to SLOWDOWN ON DESEGREGATION play only in the elimination of de jure segregation, or whether it has an obligation to take active (Reprinted from leadership in attacking the Saturday Review) inequalities of race and class in whatever form they may appear. School desegregation was revived Since the passage of the Civil Rights as a major issue during the 1968 Act of 1964, the federal Presidential campaign, and the new government has actively led the administration has since been attack on segregation. In the course its approach to the thorny issue. In of the past year, the new a comprehensive policy statement administration has reversed federal last month, President Nixon failed to answer many questions raised by policy, and has slowed the progress of desegregation. Mr. Nixon has — actions of his administration in defined a minimal and essentially recent months, but he did make passive role for the _ federal certain matters clear. The President’s main proposals government. It is disturbing, called for innovative approaches to indeed, that the administration has school desegregation problems, and abdicated both political and moral offered funds—$500-million for leadership on this most crucial of fiscal 1971, $1-billion for 1972—to national issues. encourage educational innovation in racially impacted areas, and to Direct questiong, comments and artprovide assistance to school icles to the Education Editor in care districts under court order to of Wordpower, 'Inc., 975 E. 3300 So. desegregate or to districts wanting Suite 1, Salt Lake City, Utah 84106. to eliminate de facto segregation on their own initiative.