Admitted, But Left Out Could Use A Bridge

Delving into the NYT piece, “Admitted, But Left Out” (here) on Friday, I was eager for RIISE to reference it as we continue to bridge the gaps between families of color and private independent schools. By the time I finished reading the article, I had to take a deep breath. So much was covered, but I wonder if it was enough.

We had just had our third annual fall diversity recruitment event last Sunday – what would prospective families think after reading this? Buyer Beware? Will good news and experiences travel just as fast? When I last checked there were over 300 online responses to the article.

I began to work on an angle to share with RIISE, but started to hyper-focus on my very local community – my kids, asking them if they ever feel left out.

My third grade son said “nope”, as he continued to make his grilled cheese sandwich. He is smart, sociable, humorous, athletic, and adorable, participating in many back and forth play dates. Truth be told, I find myself making excuses and minimizing the number of play dates to slow down the frenzied social pace a private school can offer.

My 6th grade daughter, with familiar annoyance to my familiar line of questioning, also said no. She too is smart, artistic, linguistic, sociable and gorgeous. CeCe, a black girl referenced in the article said there was never a day she felt pretty during the school year. Did my daughter feel beautiful on a campus where the ideal of beauty is largely white, blond, and skinny? Not really, she admitted. Will any of her crushes be reciprocated? I am sure she wonders. Is this enough to crush her spirit socially? Not with me as her mom! She was promptly reminded of her beauty, inside and out and that only she was responsible for acknowledging that.

Both my son and daughter are in private independent school for the solid education and yes, their social experiences should edify them as well. My job as a parent is to make sure they understand who they are, where they come from, where they are headed, and how to leverage every bit of it!

Current families please bridge the gaps in this article by sharing your experiences and how you navigate by replying to this post!

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