People in Wake County, NC are furious at a school board decision that will overturn a diversity policy that has been in place since the 1970s. The policy involves busing students to make sure that all schools have a diverse mix of students from all backgrounds. However, a Wake County school board is in favor of assigning students to schools closest to their home.
Jeff Johnson, a contributor to MSNBC and theGrio.com covered a rally supported by the NAACP.
WATCH MORE COVERAGE OF THE RALLY HERE
He says, “Here the NAACP is mobilizing people who believe that justice needs to be served throughout the North Carolina school districts. This is a major NAACP supported march and there are over a thousand people here in Raleigh in support of continuing diversity.”
Johnson spoke with Ben Jealous, the president of the NAACP, who shed some light on the causes of the overturning of the policy.
“Across the state, the Tea Party has targeted school boards seeking to use race as a wedge to drive the state and the country backward at a time when we all want to go forward. There are Tea Party people backing those running for the school board.
They say they don’t care about desegregation and just want all kids to have the same resources. That’s separate but equal. It was alive then and it is alive now,” said Jealous.
The school district in Wake is a shining star for urban schools across the country that have used poverty to desegregate. The diversity policy makes sure that no school has more than 40 percent of kids receiving free lunch or vice versa. It makes sure that the schools are mixed in race and class.
“There a hundreds here who want to ensure they are not moving back in time,” said Johnson.