November 3, 2010
To the editor:
I was truly disappointed to read some of the comments made during the recent community meeting regarding Shawanoe Elementary’s possible closing; in particular the views expressed by Kathy Ingram, who speculated that home values in her neighborhood might drop if diverse students moved to Rising Star. She asked, “Is there a way to look at who’s coming to Rising Star and balance the population?” What exactly does she want to “look at”? She referred to demographic changes in her neighborhood as “scary things.”
I suppose my own family and I would be among those “scary things.” My mother’s family was one of the first Mexican-American families to move into their Johnson County neighborhood in the mid-1960s. Ms. Ingram, would it surprise you to learn that the children in that house all grew up to be law-abiding citizens, among them a police officer, an FBI agent, an attorney, and, if I may say so, my own mother, who raised three children who now hold a total of four college degrees? How dare you make assumptions about people you obviously do not know, based on their financial situation and/or race and ethnicity?
I hope the parents caught in this school-closing situation do not come away with negative feelings based on the outlandish comments of a district employee. What is more “scary” — we minorities who work just as hard and have feelings like anyone else, or the bigoted attitudes of certain people living in our neighborhoods even in 2010?
Originally published at: http://www.shawneedispatch.com/news/2010/nov/03/letter-good-neighbors/