Cape Gazette
http://capegazette.villagesoup.com/p/1002362

Let’s not make a mountain out of a molehill

By Tighmir I. Sayles | May 18, 2013

Lately, I have been hearing and seeing both in the newspaper and from parents and friends that the Cape Henlopen School District is racially and socio-economically imbalanced when it comes to H. O. Brittingham Elementary and Milton Elementary schools.

As a former student of HOB and of the last attending class at Milton Middle, currently known as Milton Elementary, I happen to agree with the protesting parents against the district’s decision to split the grades. Though I think it’s counter-productive to have two elementary schools in the same small town, I think it’s also counter-productive to change what is working already.

I understand completely the need to make knee-jerk reactions when you’ve been called on the carpet. I understand that the schools are racially divided… but that is not the fault of the Cape Henlopen School District.

When I was a student there, when Milton Middle turned into Milton Elementary, where you went was based on where you lived. Though I lived right down the street from Milton Elementary, I was still in HOB’s zone. To note, I live in downtown Milton. Do we as adults find it not possible that this racial “segregation” is due to the fact that most of the minority groups that attend this district live in the areas that surround HOB?

Shipbuilders, Park Royal Apartments, Milton Landing, and then you have Ellendale and the school choice from Slaughter Neck and Lincoln. Has anyone ever thought of that? Where Milton Elementary is, look at it… you have Wagamon’s West Shores… where I’m pretty sure some of them attend HOB as well. You have Cannery Village, Chestnut Crossing, Heritage Creek, the whole area around Cool Spring and the Carpenter’s Farm.

The racial divide is not because of Cape’s “racism” (not that it exists or does not exist) it is the result of where these races or minorities, if you will, are concentrated. Also, the claim that one school makes thousands for a fundraiser and another school makes a couple hundred can be explained by this as well. Look where the money is. Look where parents support their children the most. This isn’t a race issue, it’s a geography issue. Correct me if I’m wrong, but that’s how I believe the district decides who goes where.

The Cape Henlopen School District has major issues, but this is not one of them. Let’s concentrate on what’s really wrong, like teachers’ salaries and test scores and administrative corruption and not scapegoat a district because of where minorities (which I am a part of) are concentrated. We all seem to be there when something goes wrong, but only 570 people came out to vote in the school board election. I, like Mr. Noble Prettyman, would be disappointed as well… but I’m not. This is how our society works. We grunt and complain, but show no effort to change what’s wrong.

Let’s concentrate this energy where it matters. I’m sure your children could care less what the color of their classmate’s skin happens to be. I’m sorry, but if you want to change this district, you’re doing it wrong.

Tighmir I. Sayles
student, Wilmington University

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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