Inclusion efforts in High Point

I applaud the city of High Point for extending the hours of bus service last night.  This “guaranteed ride home” from the school redistricting forum (N&R) was instigated so folks who depend on public transportation could not only get to the meeting at 7:00p, but also get home. 

According to an unposted N&R article, High Point’s bus service normally shuts down around 6:30, so the city extended the hours and made some vans available for this purpose.  If the school system and the city of Greensboro had coordinated things better this past Tuesday, the Page forum might have attracted a more diverse crowd.

But not everyone thought High Point’s efforts at inclusion was a good idea.

Over at the Chalkboard blog, where many of Jamestown and North High Point’s most vocal parents hang out, usually anonymously, the reaction was incredulous and swift.  Some excerpts…

  • “…The city of High Point has refused to get involved with this issue for two years now. …So NOW they are offering FREE transportation to only a certain area to come to a SCHOOL FORUM??”
  •  “…the “free ride” that the City of High Point is offering to ONLY certain residents of High Point is just another glaring example that there is ONE giant hidden agenda in this city.”
  •  ”…I understand that the vans will be provided AFTER the forum because the buses will no longer be running. If I’m corect, MY city taxes will be paying for this special service. If I request a ride and I am refused, I will call my favorite accountant for financial backing and then my lawyer…”
  • “…Did our City Council VOTE on the expense for the vans? When was that meeting and who voted “for” and who voted ‘against’.”

To which, a commenter named “True Colors”, responds…

“…You all claim that you care about all the students in Guilford County, but you want to exclude parents who are interested enough to come but have no transportation.   …one just has to read comments such as some of these about the transportation to know how you really feel .”

The mantra of “neighborhood schools” is loaded with undertones of economic segregation because the fact is, rich people don’t live next to poor people for the most part throughout Guilford County.  Greensboro is not immune from such segregation – just look at Northwest High (over 90% white) and Dudley (over 90% black).  But no one around here is making a big issue of such segregation, so it will likely stand as is.

It will be interesting and telling to see how our current school board comes down on the High Point issue and if they will address other highly segregated schools when the redistricting vote is taken sometime next month.

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