Tuesday, December 26, 2006

The Wrong Side of the Tracks?

We like to think that discrimination no longer exists in America, but it may actually be getting worse.

Many of us have forgotten that in 1977, Federal District Court Judge Robert Duncan ruled in the case of Penick v. The Columbus Board of Education that Columbus schools were indeed inappropriately segregated, and as a result, ordered that a busing program be implemented to rebalance the racial mix of the Columbus schools. That ruling resulted in a 'white flight' to the suburbs, including Hilliard. Today, the Columbus schools are Blacker and poorer than ever before.

It may be illegal to discriminate based on race, creed, color, and so on, but our society absolutely condones discrimination based on economic status. To live in a neighborhood of expensive houses, you need to be wealthy. Municipalities enact zoning regulations which ensure that low-priced houses are kept out of the neighborhoods of luxury homes.

Things are even more complex in our community, where the school district serves people who live in many municipalities, including the Cities of Hilliard, Columbus and Dublin, as well as several townships. Within the boundaries of Columbus, many high density and multifamily communities have been built, a number of which are occupied by minority and immigrant families with children.

As a result, the various schools in our district have varying minority and low-income populations. In particular, there are twice as many minority students at Darby High School than at Davidson. At the elementary levels, the population of minority students is significantly higher at Horizon, Beacon and Norwich than at other schools such as Brown, Britton and Ridgewood.

A redistricting effort is underway right now, and I am thankful to be a part of it. There has been a discussion as to the degree that ethnic balance have priority over logistics (i.e. is it okay to bus kids past one school to another to achieve this balance)?

What do you think?

Go here to read the second part of this discussion.


  1. Pablo-

    Good stuff! I've read some of your articles and what strikes me is the lesson we learned last night at the "Hilliard Soccer Night" at Darby, where the various Davidson teams played exhibitions versus their Darby peers. Our son played in the JVA game. He's a freshman and we getting a new sense of the dichotomy that is Hilliard City Schools right now.

    I was interested to see many "BEAT DARBY" t-shirts there. But mostly it was an arrogance and entitlement that I sensed. Your facts seem to back up some of my observations.

    We'll pass along the site to some friends. Count on our support in your run for school board.

  2. Thanks C, I appreciate the feedback, and the help in spreading the word. Good seeing you the other day.