While eating my cereal this morning, I took a few moments to scan the Internet news. A headline caught my eye: 19th-Century School for Black Children Vandalized in Va. Reading on, the article described the vandalism of a historic black school just outside Washington, DC. There had been a graffiti attack on the Ashburn Colored School which was in the process of restoration back to it's original condition. As the school's name suggests, the Ashburn Colored School was served only African American children during the segregation years from early 1890s to the 1950s.
A group of teenage volunteers had been in the process of restoring this historic site for eighteen months. Eventually, the restored building will be a museum, illuminating a time in public school history when African American children endured an especially under-resourced and low quality educational experience. I looked up other news stories to learn more about the restoration project. One quoted a former pupil of the school, Louise Winzor Thomas, who shared that she and her siblings walked many miles to and from the school each day as school buses were not allowed to pick up black students. The defacing of the restored building with Nazi symbols and racist slogans has understandably devastated all those who have been working hard to restore the school.
we joined in a simple and fun anti-bullying initiative. Schools across Minnesota will be encouraging children to chalk positive messages that emphasize their positive culture and values. The organizers of this initiative must have stopped by our school either late last night or early this morning to chalk a few kind messages and leave a big box of chalk for our children to add thoughts of their own on the front steps and plaza.