This is a story about Florida.
I’ve written before about the anti-Blackness being fostered in the Sunshine State; their governor, Ron DeSantis, is leading the charge by legislating anti-Black racism and all other kinds of bigotry in the state.
It is especially egregious when anti-Blackness is targeted at innocent Black children.
Let me explain.
In case you missed it for whatever reason, Bunnell Elementary School in Flagler County, Florida — a school district already notorious for their low test scores — pulled all of its Black fourth and fifth graders into an assembly late last month where they were shown a PowerPoint presentation that blamed them for the school’s low scores on state standardized tests.
The children were told that if they didn’t bring the test scores up, they would likely end up in jail, dead, or shot to death.
Never mind that Black students make up only 14% of the student population at Bunnell. In a school where white students make up 60% of the student body, only 32% of students are meeting or exceeding the required measurements on state assessments. That ain’t the Black kids’ fault.
These details didn’t matter, however, as even Black students who were meeting or exceeding the metrics were pulled into the assembly.
No other students in the school were made to attend such a presentation or spoken to about the low test scores.
It was racist, and it’s OK for us to call it racist. To not acknowledge the inherent racism and implicit bias in this incident is to spit in the faces of the Black children who endured this injustice.
Parents of the Black students said their children were traumatized by the assembly — especially the part where they were told they would be “shot dead” if their scores didn’t improve.White Principal Blames Black Teacher For Assembly That Singled Out Black Students For Low Test Scores
Last Friday, the school singled out all of its Black fourth and fifth graders and pulled them into an assembly where they were held responsible for the school’s low test scores.
A PowerPoint presentation, titled “AA Presentation,” was shown to the students. The presentation itself contained typos and errors, and the irony of that is making me constipated because how are you going to create an entire assembly to shame Black children for the failures of the system (of whiteness) when you don’t even have it together enough to proofread said presentation? Y’all are just sloppy all around.
It identified Black students as “the problem” in low test scores because they “have underperform [sic] on standardized assessment for the past three years.” It notes that the school only has 32% of its students who are where they need to be when it should have 41%.
It then tasks the students with committing to getting themselves up to where they need to be on the standardized tests; passing all their curriculum-based assessments with a 75% or higher, and committing to “maintaining high iReady scores within their individual track.”
There were no bullet points in the presentation that detailed how the school was going to help the Black children keep these commitments.Whiteness does not care about the comfort or education of Black students
Why don’t Black children get the same benefit of the doubt that white children receive? Why are Black children adultified while white children are infantilized? Why are people so quick to take action when the offender is a Black child, but less likely to move to action when the harm is being caused by a white child?
These are just some of the questions I am looking for answers to in my latest piece for theGrio, Black children are not safe in a world ruled by white supremacy.
In this piece, I discuss the examples of Bobbi Wilson, the 9-year-old girl who had the police called on her by a neighbor who knew her because she was spraying a homemade concoction on trees to stop the infestation of an insect that is harmful to the trees.