Connect with us

Education

Studying School Integration, 70 Years After Brown v. Board of Education

Ashley Waithira

Published

on

The U.S. Supreme Court made a groundbreaking decision in Brown v. Board of Education seventy years ago, declaring school segregation as unconstitutional. This judgement meant to change the nature of education in America. Yet, seven decades later, full school integration is still not achieved. Even more worrisome, recent patterns suggest an alarming retreat toward segregation, putting the progress of the past at risk.

Persistent Segregation Issues

Brown v. Board verdict aimed to initiate an age of equal education opportunities. However, currently many Black and Hispanic students are still going to schools mostly filled with pupils from minority groups. These schools often lack resources as they are situated on lower income grounds, leading to lesser educational quality than their wealthier counterparts where most students are white.

Research shows that schools with a majority of minority students get less funding per student. have more significant class sizes and fewer experienced teachers at work. These differences significantly affect student performance results on standard tests and graduate rates and make attending college less likely.

Recent Law Changes

  • New Mexico:  A recent court ruling temporarily stopped a statewide requirement that called for every school district to provide at least 180 days of classes annually due to strong opposition from many districts facing budgetary and operational issues.
  • Mississippi: The Mississippi governor validated a new law that amends how schools are financed beginning July 1, 2024 aiming for a fairer distribution of state money across all districts.
  • Missouri: Missouri has enacted a new law providing scholarships for private education for K12 students from low income families, widening the educational options and opportunities available.

Hindrances Toward Integration

Even though Brown v. Board marked a significant leap towards equality, later court decisions and policymaking hampered this promise. Over time, key Supreme Court rulings such as Milliken v. Bradley and Parents Involved v. Seattle School District No. 1 have limited how segregation can be challenged, leaving school districts fewer possibilities to encourage integration.

Current Thoughts on Integration

Derek Black, a notable law professor, explains that even if public support for integrated education is high in America, it’s still mostly an ideal rather than a reality in modern educational systems. He emphasizes the contrast between public opinion and the actual state of our schools, “Sadly in present times school integration exists more as an idea than a reality.”

Moving Ahead

The fight to integrate schools continues on multiple fronts involving changes not only in education but also societal and economic areas. Some advocate for revising policies like magnet schools and controlled choice plans creating diverse and equal learning opportunities.

Extended Impact

On this 70th anniversary of Brown v. Board of Education we must consider how resegregation affects us all. The growing separation of students based on race or socioeconomic status contradicts equality as one of the basis of our democratic society. It also continues the vicious cycle of poverty and loss of rights.

Closing Remarks

The road to equal education is long with many obstacles along the way but each challenge opens up new ways for us to reaffirm our commitment to equity and justice represented by Brown v. Board’s decision. Embracing innovation solutions with relentless advocacy hopefully will bring us nearer to achieving a fully integrated and equal educational experience for all our children.

Ashley is a creative and adventurous Journalism graduate with a vibrant personality. Her love for exploring new places fuels her passion for travelling, allowing her to uncover captivating stories and diverse cultures. With a kind and fun-loving nature, she radiates positivity and enjoys connecting with people from all walks of life. Ashley's belief in a supreme being serves as a moral compass, guiding her to always strive for what is right and just. In her spare time, she immerses herself in the pages of books, seeking inspiration and expanding her knowledge. Ashley's zest for life and unwavering dedication to her values make her remarkable.

Continue Reading

Education

UCLA Graduation To See More Security Due to Ongoing Pro-Palestinian Protests

Ashley Waithira

Published

on

The University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) is its security in preparation for upcoming graduation ceremonies due to a series of pro-Palestinian protests. Multiple arrests have been made and tensions are high on campus as a result.

Last Monday saw over 100 pro-Palestinian protesters occupy various areas within the campus. It’s the third major protest since May. The protesters hosted morbid displays such as coffins and bloody looking items while they recited names of Palestinians killed in Gaza by Israeli forces.

  • Protesters set up barricades around Dickson Plaza.
  • Demonstrators turned Shapiro Fountain’s water red as part of their protest.
  • Around two dozen protesters were arrested for disturbing university operations.

Los Angeles police had to intervene when protesters marched through South Campus demanding that the University of California cut off investments in companies which manufacture weapons for Israeli military forces.

Violent Clashes And Arrests Made Amid Protests

The situation between police force and protests escalated quickly. There were three major instances during the day where officers had to put physical barriers using their bicycles at key locations to keep away additional protestors from entering the fray.

  • Protesters shouted “We will honour all our martyrs” along with reciting names of slain Palestinians in Gaza.
  • Police officers had to give several displacement orders, eventually deeming the gathering illegal.
  • Nearly two dozen protesters were detained and were restricted from entering UCLA premises for two weeks.

The campus police reported crimes including spray painting of walkways, damaging of fire safety tools and destruction of vehicles. A security officer was injured during the protest and required medical assistance.

University Steps In & Security Enhancements Announced

In light of protests, UCLA has decided to conduct smaller commencement ceremonies at different locations instead of a single large scale ceremony. It will be mandatory for guests to bring their tickets and the university will also enforce strong bag restrictions.

A statement from UCLA’s administration condemning vandalism from protests but supporting peaceful protesting was released. Regardless of these incidents, a lot of students are focused on cherishing their graduation celebration.

  • Graduates feel relieved that they can finally focus on their achievements while appreciating the significance of the protests.
  • The university pledged to ramp up security measures to maintain safety during this crucial event.

In recent past too on May 2 & May 23, similar Gatherings by proPalestinian protests took place where they faced off against police and proIsraeli protests successfully.Persistent Tensions & Protester’s Wanting Changes

Protestors remained firm about their demands, urging UC system to break ties with Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) and eliminating campus police practice. They sought amnesty for students , staff and faculty who were punished for participating in pro-Palestinian activism Impact on Commencement Ceremonies

The graduation ceremonies of 2024, is an important milestone for many graduates as most of their college went remote due to covid pandemic. The university has designed over 70 individual low scale events across multiple locations in lieu of a single large scale commencement ceremony.

To keep things flowing smooth and safe , strict security protocols have been put into place including visible bag checks and limited entry points. A lot of graduates respect the right to protest but are keen on celebrating this crucial event without any more disruptions .

  • “These protesters have the freedom to voice their concerns and take a stand for something very significant” quoted Jocelyn, one UCLA student .
  • A fellow student named Isa added that “People are mainly focused on living through this year end experience.”

The Future Summary

UCLA administrators are expecting more protests during graduation weekend and they have prepared vision plans to handle any kind of disturbance. The university community remains split with strong views from both sides.

UCLA’s ongoing protests is part of a nationwide wave where demonstrations taking place at universities countrywide demand divestment from companies involved in the Gaza war. This issue keeps growing with potential consequences for both student activism as well as university policies.

You can get additional information about UCLA’s authorised graduation ceremonies and security enhancements on the official website.

Continue Reading

Education

Penn Prohibits Protest Camps Amid Rise in National Activism

Ryan Lenett

Published

on

In reaction to increased student activism, the University of Pennsylvania (Penn) has imposed interim rules guiding protests on campus. These rules, inclusive of a distinct prohibition on encampments, are in response to a pro Palestinian demonstration leading to the arrest of 33 protesters in May. This decision is an echo of wider efforts across American universities aimed at balancing free speech with security on campus.

Revised Protest Guidelines

The new regulations from Penn expressly forbid encampments and overnight events at any university site, indoor or outdoor. The guidelines assert that unauthorised overnight actions will be treated as trespassing and dealt with appropriately. This is Penn’s premiere prohibition on encampments within its protest policies.

  • No Overnight Activities: Encampment ban at all university sites.
  • Ban on Projections: Unauthorised light projections onto buildings prohibited.
  • Protecting Speakers’ Rights: No protest can disrupt speakers from expressing their viewpoints.

Penn introduced these controls after a sequence of proPalestinian encampments across universities nationwide caused controversy resulting in over 3,000 arrests since midApril. The Penn administration emphasised that these rules aim to facilitate free speech while upholding the university’s primary responsibilities of instruction, research, service and patient care.

National Overview and Response

Penn’s fresh regulations are part of a larger national trend where universities are coping with managing large scale demonstrations. Many institutions including Harvard, MIT and UC Berkeley have encountered similar challenges and are reassessing their protest policies.

Virginia Foxx, a Representative along with other Republican leaders have expressed doubts regarding the federal funding of institutions like Penn, pointing out concerns regarding the safety of campus and handling of antisemitic incidents. The protests resulted in significant administrative changes, with the resignation of former Penn president Liz Magill in December following controversy regarding her congressional testimony about the university’s reaction to antisemitic comments.

  • Federal Oversight: Universities could face reviews regarding federal funding.
  • Change in Administration: Changes in leadership at Penn and other institutions.
  • Nationwide Review: Reassessment of protest policies nationwide.

The new guidelines have solicited varied reactions from the Penn community. While some students and staff see these constraints as essential for security and protecting free speech, others view them as a betrayal to the concept of free expression. There is concern that they might excessively affect proPalestinian protests.

Effect on Student Activism

Sustaining activism at Penn has already been impacted by these novel regulations. Mira Sydow, a senior involved in the encampment, has criticised these rules as an intense restriction on free speech. She along with other demonstrators have faced disciplinary measures like bans from campus and graduation ceremonies. According to Sydow, such actions target specifically pro Palestinian protests but also curb any form of campus demonstration.

In contrast, some students such as Ben Messafi, an up and coming sophomore, support these new rules. He argues that such control measures are a positive move towards combating antisemitism ensuring that campus demonstrations do not disturb university responsibilities. The wallowing consensus is that unaffiliated individuals attending protests on campus should be restricted.

  • Student Response: Various reactions from students and faculty were noted.
  • Punitive Measures: Demonstrators face campus bans and other penalties.
  • Outside Influence: Attendance at demonstrations is restricted for non affiliated individuals.

Ben Messafi, a budding Penn sophomore, praises the new protest guidelines as “a good first step” in fighting antisemitism on campus. He disputes the theory that these novel guidelines would cause harm to Jewish students and prevent proIsrael expression. According to the revised guidelines, outside individuals attending on campus protests “may have less inclusive rights of open expression.”

Messafi recalls that non affiliated pro Palestinian and pro Israel people as well have attended demonstrations on campus since Oct. 7, pointing out an incident where a non Penn individual sprayed encampment members with a chemical. “When we had non student pro Israel folk step onto campus, they found it tough to maintain their messaging,” he said.

The Future Course of Campus Protests

Penn’s temporary guidelines are slated for review by a faculty task force in the upcoming academic year. This task force will propose more lasting policies, marking the first noteworthy update to Penn’s demonstration rules since 1989. The intention is to find an equilibrium between protecting free speech and maintaining order and security on campus.

Universities across the nation are observing Penn’s actions closely as they deal with similar matters. Penn’s policy review could possibly shape how other institutions manage protests, balance conflicts among diverse student groups and aim to create a milieu where open expression can coexist harmoniously with university responsibilities without leading to violence or significant disruptions.

  • Task Force Review: Faculty led task force will review and propose newer policies.
  • Balancing: Striking a balance between free speech versus campus safety.
  • Effect on Other Institutions: Penn’s policies might set a standard nationwide.

The novelty of these guidelines also rehashes pre existing rules like mandating a 48 hours’ notice for a demonstration and prohibiting engagement in any protest activity on Penn sculptures or statues. During the encampment, some protesters attached a Palestinian flag on the iconic Benjamin Franklin statue at College Green and defaced it.

Conclusion 

The revised guidelines govern “when, where, and how open expression” can take place.The new provisional regulations announced by university leaders, including interim president J. Larry Jameson, restrict the ability of groups to install structures or objects on university property without prior approval from the Vice Provost for University Life. 

Demonstrations are not acceptable in several areas like private offices & residences, classrooms, museums and libraries. Noah Rubin, a former president of the Penn Israel Public Affairs Committee and Jewish senior at the campus shared his apprehension about antisemitism continuing on campus despite these guidelines. After organising an event remembering Israeli hostages taken on Oct. 7 and speaking at a rally against antisemitism, Rubin started taking a different route to classes to avoid the protest site due to continuous pro intifada and AlQassam chants. 

Continue Reading

Education

Arkansas Schools Close Due to Heavy Storms

Anne lise Sylta

Published

on

The severe storm damage in northwest Arkansas has forced Bentonville and Rogers Public Schools to shut down for the rest of the school year. This necessary move prioritises safety, temporarily stopping learning activities for many students. This article explores the impact on the community problems caused by closures, and ways to help affected students and staff.

School Closure Notice

Bentonville and Rogers Public Schools have closed schools for the final part of this school year because of major storm damage in Arkansas. This decision’s goal is student and employee safety during ongoing cleanup work and building repairs.

Effect On Education

The unexpected end to the school year interrupts academic activities from kindergarten through high school. Students in high school face a special problem, they must decide between taking their finals under difficult conditions or accepting current grades as final.

Exam Transport

  • Bus Services, Limited bus service will be available for 9th12th grade students taking their finals.
  • Schedule, Buses run between 8,00 a.m. 8,10 a.m. in the morning, with afternoon pickups set from 4,15 p.m.4,30 p.m..
  • Pickup/Dropoff Points, Pickups/dropoffs will happen at specified spots such as Allan’s Parking Lot, Metfield Parking Lot for Bentonville High, Centerton Harps’s and Creekside Park for Bentonville West.

Safety And Community Measures

The heavy storms made many roads unreachable which complicates daily tasks and transportation. This situation forces suspension of all early childcare programs, Discovery Program, Adventure Club, and preK classes indefinitely.

The storm also heavily damaged school properties causing confusion about accessibility of schools to get personal stuff. The school boards will share updates when it is safe.

Reaction From Education Authorities

The school districts are evaluating the situation with local emergency services and working to give clear and fast communication to parents and guardians. They are also working with state officials to make sure all decisions take care of students’ longterm wellbeing.

Moving Ahead

As communities start rebuilding after the loss, the priority is rebuilding schools physically, emotionally, and educationally. There are plans for mental support and academic recovery programs when operations begin again.

Conclusion

The early closure of schools because of surprise storms interrupts many students’ education paths. But the main focus remains community safety. Both Bentonville and Rogers Public Schools are dedicated to meeting these tough times with full support for students and their families, ensuring that education continues even after this disaster.

Continue Reading