To the editor:
As a former member of the Lawrence school board, I was appalled at comments made by Jim Hays, research specialist for the Kansas Association of School Boards. It is possible that Mr. Hays was misquoted, but in a recent Journal-World article about the challenges associated with educating children in Kansas whose first language isn’t English, Mr. Hays commented, “It would be really nice if we were growing in nice white kids from middle class backgrounds, but that is not the case.”
I find his comment troubling for the following reasons. First, the comment implies that immigrant children are less than desirable in Kansas public schools. Second, Mr. Hays’ comment suggests that being white and middle class is more appealing than say, being of Asian, African-American, Hispanic, or any other ethnic background who may be middle class or for that matter from a lower socio-economic class.
His remarks are yet another example of the “Great White Hope” society that Rep. Lynn Jenkins speaks of. We should remember that one aspect of the American dream is to educate all children despite their racial or socio-economic backgrounds and not judge as if one group is better than another.