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Comments by YACCS
Saturday, November 18, 2006

Sounds familiar

When you see this, this is a non-white

Ruling: Classes divided by race

At Preston Hollow, principal tried to appease affluent parents, halt white flight, judge says

09:14 AM CST on Saturday, November 18, 2006

By KENT FISCHER / The Dallas Morning News

For years, it was an open secret at North Dallas' Preston Hollow Elementary School: Even though the school was overwhelmingly Hispanic and black, white parents could get their children into all-white classes. And once placed, the students would have little interaction with the rest of the students.

The result, a federal judge has ruled, was that principal Teresa Parker "was, in effect, operating, at taxpayer's expense, a private school for Anglo children within a public school that was predominantly minority."

Judge Sam Lindsay's opinion paints an unflattering picture of the elementary school and a principal who was so desperate to appease the school's affluent white parents that she turned back the clock on school desegregation 50 years.

In April, Hispanic parents sued, claiming illegal segregation. The three-week trial concluded in late August. On Thursday, Judge Lindsay declared that the school's principal violated the rights of minority children by assigning them to classrooms based on race.

The judge ordered Mrs. Parker to pay $20,200 to Lucrecia Mayorga SantamarĂ­a, the lone named plaintiff, who sued on behalf of her three children


Mrs. Parker also asked members of her staff to sign confidentiality agreements about how students were assigned to their classes, and paperwork detailing the classroom assignments was destroyed under mysterious circumstances, according to the judge's ruling.

Principal uncooperative

The judge also took exception to Mrs. Parker's apparent unwillingness to cooperate with the court. At one point during the trial, the judge noted, Mrs. Parker testified that she didn't know whether Preston Hollow is a predominantly white neighborhood.

"The court is baffled that in this day and age, that [DISD relied] on what is, essentially, a 'separate but equal' argument," the judge wrote.

PTA chief criticized

Judge Lindsay also criticized Meg Bittner, the school's PTA president, who wanted to lure more affluent white families out of private schools and back to Preston Hollow.

More white families would result in a healthier PTA, she testified, bigger fundraisers and, ultimately, more money for the school. The best way to lure back white families, teachers and others testified, was to put white children together in the same classrooms.

Teacher Janet Leon told the court that "neighborhood classes" were predominantly made up of white students because "the people who live in the Preston Hollow neighborhood, who are the majority being white, would want their children grouped together."

To aid in the recruitment of more affluent whites, the school's PTA created a brochure for parents that featured almost all white students. Hispanic parents had shown up at the school the day photos were being taken for the brochure, but the principal blocked their entry into the classroom where the photos were being taken, the judge's ruling states.

Additionally, the PTA, in conjunction with the school, held separate open houses and kindergarten recruitments for white parents. And when PTA members gave prospective parents tours of the school, they were never taken down the "Hispanic halls" where the minority classes were housed, teachers testified.

Mrs. Bittner and other PTA officers did not respond to phone messages seeking comment.

Now, you're probably saying, wow, that's fucked up.

But imagine an entire school designed to exclude New York City. Well, NEST+M on the Lower East Side IS run the exactly same way. In a city with 80 percent black and hispanic student body, NEST+M is 52 percent white.

And if that isn't bad enough, they sued the city to prevent a mostly black and latino
charter school from sharing their space.

Oh, and it gets better, they rejected parents because they didn't speak English or were pregnant. That's right, parents. They were interviewing the parents to see if they would admit the kids.

On the doorstep to Chinatown, 19 percent of the student body is Asian.

So don't think it's just Dallas, because it isn't

posted by Steve @ 10:25:00 AM

10:25:00 AM

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