Montgomery County’s public schools are still segregated. It’s time to fix that.

Montgomery County’s public schools are still segregated. It’s time to fix that.

A few months earlier, just a few miles away, a smaller crowd formed in the cafeteria of Quince Orchard High School. This crowd gathered not to fight racial injustice but to uphold it: to loudly oppose the school system’s nascent study of boundary lines and countywide segregation. At this public meeting, one parent took the microphone and, speaking of black, brown and poor children in their schools, complained that “you can’t put that burden on us.” We must recognize that the outrage that has exploded in the wake of George Floyd’s death goes much deeper than any individual police killing. We are witnessing the rejection of a style of politics that has been more willing to delay on behalf of a prejudiced few than to push ahead for everyone else. In Montgomery County, there is no greater example of that approach’s insufficiency than the enduring segregation of our schools. We write as three successive student members of the Montgomery County Board of Education who, against fierce opposition, proposed and passed policies of school integration. Amid this renewed national conversation on race, privilege and systemic injustice, we must give Montgomery County’s elected leaders a clear mandate to push ahead in truly making our schools equal. You might think integration would be a simple proposition for a progressive county. After all, integrated schools are empirically proven to produce the kind of equality that the country is marching for. For black and brown children, integrated schools lead to higher test scores, increased graduation ...
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