Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Magnetic Semantics, show me the money...

From this Courant article it sounds as though a Hartford Magnet school may have altered the racial characteristic of selected students to comply with State racial balance regulations. The big argument is whether or not parents were notified.

It brings up a very interesting argument though. What the hell is race? This administrator seems to think its close hues of pale skin colors. This is really so weird I don't know what to make of it. Is race a conscious choice? Do you have to be 21 to decide? In that case, I not sure what I want to be.

Students' Racial Identities Altered
Magnet Principal Tried To Remedy Imbalance
March 15, 2006
By RACHEL GOTTLIEB, Courant Staff Writer

Fifteen-year-old sophomore Dylan Doughty remembered a similar conversation with Lavoie, who has moved out of state since retiring and could not be reached for comment. "She said they need some-odd kids to be white so the school can still operate. So I was thinking my skin color is white so I may as well be white. This is how I recall it."

The parents of both students say they were not consulted - although Brandon said Genao assured him otherwise. "I said, `Did you call my father?' He said, `Yes.' Then he started typing something in the computer," Brandon said. "I didn't really want it to be changed. I would like to be African American."

Brandon's father, Rufus Gartrell, said that he wasn't aware of the change until this week and that no one from the school called him to ask permission. Had anyone called, he said, he never would have agreed to the change.

"I think I would remember something like that," Rufus Gartrell said. "I never talked to Brandon about it. My son, he could pass for white, but I've taught my son he's also black. I've taught him to be proud of what he is."

Dylan's mother, Jerilyn Fabiani, also objected to the change. "He's not of legal age and they shouldn't have been asking him," she said. "It's not his decision to make at this point in his life."

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