Sunday, March 30, 2014


From Alt Press:

MAPLEWOOD, NJ - A new organization of concerned parents held a community forum at the Maplewood Memorial Library on Saturday to discuss the problems encountered by black students in the South Orange-Maplewood school district.  

The “SOMA Parents of Students of African Descent Workshop” is seeking to identify and change aspects of the educational experience in the district that they see as unfair.

Walter Fields, one of the group’s organizers, described the group as “a group of concerned parents who have come together over the plight of black students in our school district.”  He said the group’s goal is “not constant conversation, but action to change the school district, given all that we know about racial disparities in our school district and individual cases of disparate treatment.”
He went on to say that there is an attitude in the district that seems to suggest “that our black children are not capable, a low expectation that is put upon them and results in many of our brilliant, gifted, bright young black boys and girls underachieving in our schools.”  

The group has a moral mission, he said, that “our children deserve to have equal access to the best education possible that will give them a bright future in this world and nothing less.  We come not to talk about disparity, but we come to hold the Board of Education and the School District accountable for what we see as an unacceptable disparity and treatment of our children.”

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