Parents of Color: Fight for your Children- Racism in Education pt. 1

Tiny - Posted on 04 June 2011

Marion Marriouns

June 4, 2011

I thought as an Afro American parent I made the right decision in putting my son in private school. I believed the public school system would damage my son. I see the struggles of substandard education, discrimination and harassment Afro American children go through. The problems don’t only affect our boys but our girls too. My son was very outgoing and smart and loved to learn. I decided to enroll him in St. John's Catholic school in San Francisco—I was advised St. John's is one of the top Catholic schools in San Francisco. I was happy when my son was accepted.

I believed St. John's Catholic school would challenge my son mentally; however I had a rude awakening. All of a sudden normal childhood behavior became ADHD, or as we know it behavioral problems. I remember my son's kindergarten teacher telling me, “I’m receiving my Ph.D in psychology, and I thought your son may need medication as he is a black boy, but now I don’t think so.” I was shocked. AS I had conversations with other Afro American parents, and apparently the kindergarten teacher told them the same thing. Every time I went to pick up my son from kindergarten it was always, "your son did this, your son did that." The kindergarten teacher accused my son of robbery and threatening another kid with physical harm. I had enough, just to find out later the other kid was lying about my son.

The interesting part of it is I thought the problem was only focused on my son. Yet as I started interviewing more Afro American and Hispanic parents, the majority said they were having the same problems with St. John's, that the teachers were all Caucasian and had no connection with the children of color.

Still I kept my son in St. John's until the first grade. "Wow," I thought, "a new start.” Boy was I wrong. Apparently my son carried a reputation from kindergarten that passed onto the first grade. I couldn’t believe now his first grade teacher wasn’t trying to educate him, but a matter fact he was always in detention and was ignored by his teacher. My child was now labeled AS a problem child with behavior and learning problems. I was in a desperate battle with my son’s principal and teachers.

I decided to investigate; I couldn’t believe what my eyes were seeing. I saw my son's first grade teacher yelling at him, the teacher strongly disciplining him; I watched as my son asked for help while the teacher walked away from him; I watched how the teacher took her time with the Caucasian children, but the children of color were constantly ignored, and were put into a smaller groups for behavioral problems. More and more I observed the teacher totally not educating children of color, but accusing the children of color of being substandard. The teachers at St. John's forced children of color to fear learning and being kicked out of school, yet St. John's teachers and principal poisoned parents to believe our children are below reading and math levels.

I realized at that point I had a battle on my hands; the interesting part is the harder I advocated for my son, the more the principal and the teacher treated him poorly. More and more the teacher accused my son of being a thief, disrupting the class, fighting, not doing his work in class. The principal's statement was, “Well you know he had this same problem in kindergarten." I couldn’t believe it. Most Afro American parents either left their children in St. John's or transferred them to a better school. Afro American parents said we just want our kids to pass to the 2nd grade, and all the harassment will be over.

St. John's Logo

Well I transferred my son to another school; I thought the behavioral problem label would disappear. The principal emailed me and threatened to slander my name to my son’s new school. Here’s a section of the email sent from the principal: "I will inform the new school where Mark Anthony is attending of your balance." Meaning they were going to tell the new school my financial info.

I chose to stop paying St. John's due to the harassment and discrimination of my child, yet the damage is done and the principal of St. John's contacted my son’s new school and told the principal, ‘’he has a behavior problem, and the parents are intimidating." I was shocked again. I wondered why am I going through this battle just for my child to receive the proper education.

Due to St. John's failing my son, I home school him part time. Please parents of color fight for your children; the educational system is set up to fail them.

This article is completely one-sided! All I have to say is it all starts in the home! You get back what you put in. Spend time with your children, talk to them, have patience, read to them and most important discipline them and show them how to behave by setting an example yourself. Don't blame the school for your child's problems! Always an excuse....

"Due to St. John's failing my son, I home school him part time."

And what do you do the rest of the time? Do you plan to sue the school for "damages," to guarantee that Octavian, I mean Mark Anthony, never has to work?

"Here’s a section of the email sent from the principal: "I will inform the new school where Mark Anthony is attending of your balance." Meaning they were going to tell the new school my financial info."

Sorry, but if you transferred your son to another private school, it is only fair that the principal at St. John's let the new school know if you haven't been making tuition payments.

Mark Anthony? Really? I suppose his sister is Cleopatra, and his brother Caesar Augustus.

it was Mark Wahlberg at first

...I may have confused him with Roman Polanski.

thank you

may of us parent's of Afro American kids are experiencing the same thing from Mrs Lamp.

...and what may of you parent's of Afro American kids experience?



wo ho


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