While working on our upcoming National School Choice Week event that will showcase the historic Brown v. Board of Education decision I noticed some similar behaviors between those who opposed desegregation in that landmark case and the behaviors of those who oppose school choice today.
Anger, hatred, name calling. Shall I go on? People can be very cruel when they feel threatened or disagree.
Growing up in Iowa, I was never subjected to racism or real hatred. There were nice people and there were mean people. Color was never a factor in determining who my friends were. At times, best friends would wind up duking it out at the bus stop and then be best friends again the next day. (Yes, I was one of those who did that.)
Our parents taught us that if you didn’t have something nice to say, don’t say anything at all. If you do something, do your very best or don’t bother doing it all. Most importantly, always – always – do the right thing.
Many things have changed since I grew up in Iowa, but some things haven’t. Parents still value education. Parents still know what’s best for their children.
Over the years, my daughter Jessica has accessed several schooling options. She is currently in a charter school. But back in 2009, when she was seven years old, she began a petition to remove the requirement that students be enrolled in public school for at least one year before they can enroll in a district virtual education program. Many who opposed what Jessica was doing attacked me. They even attacked her! That was my first taste of what the real world was like when dealing with what I later realized was very controversial.