Editor: I want to thank Superintendent Eric Williams and LCPS for their educated and necessary response to the recent “underground railroad obstacle course” scandal at Madison’s Trust Elementary School.
Williams’s statement recognized the many ways our students of color are systematically disadvantaged in their individual experiences with academics, achievements, discipline, and advanced programs, and attempts to address the conditions causing these areas of inequality.
It’s crucial for school systems to acknowledge that the reality of being a minority often comes with unseen baggage, reflected in disparities of grades, disciplinary write ups, and self-confidence. It’s not uncommon for minority students to become self-fulfilling prophecies in areas they’re told they can never excel in, including academic success.
We must actively address this pattern, not only when looking at disparities across racial lines, but also its effect on LGBTQ+ youth. It’s vital that we have this conversation now, when bathroom bans have migrated from state laws down to our own school boards’ policies. School often serves as a necessary safe place for these kids, and the administration needs to face that responsibility and rise to it.
Chris Croll was heart-wrenchingly right when she said, “We can’t lose any more kids, we just can’t.”
Kearney Quillen, Purcellville