A Picture Tells A Story

Images are powerful. Pictures can send a powerful message. At least, this has been obvious to a school teacher in South Africa who was dividing his class based on whether a child speaks English or Afrikaans. After a photo of his classroom went viral on social media, the teacher was suspended. More often than not, we need to see an image to see clearly something that is wrong. A picture can tell us right away, without any debate, that labeling children according to the language they speak is wrong. Labeling and segregating children in schools is wrong.

Above copied from
The Afrinik News


Yet, graphs seem to be not as powerful, like the ones shown below for the school district my children attend.

Above copied from
ProPublica


Gifted and Talented labels are being given at a much higher frequency to Asians and Whites in Fairfax county, essentially separating these children from Blacks and Hispanics. This segregation has been true for sometime now but there still has been no concrete action or policy taken to address this problem. Here is another graph that should take the same punch:

Above copied from
ProPublica

The inequity continues in high school where the less prepared Black and Hispanic children are unable to enroll in advanced courses. And on top of this, both Black and Hispanic children receive suspensions more often. The above graphs are just bars or dots with different colors. But inside these bars and dots are children, no different from the children in the photo of a classroom in South Africa. These are children whom we allow to suffer in an inequitable and unjust system.


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