School Boundaries, Money and Race

Shauna Grice:

In a process to ease over-crowding, facilitated by Dr. Jack Parish, Superintendent of Schools for Henry County, the proposed boundary lines for the new schools had been drawn to include a small portion of the Fairview community. Others in Fairview would remain at the older schools. Fairview is a modest neighborhood made up of children who are predominately African-American and whose parents are less affluent than those who reside in Union Grove, a fact which has sent Union Grove residents reeling.
As a resident of the Fairview community with a child in middle school, I had my concerns. Our streets aren’t made of gold, and the neighborhood certainly doesn’t boast lavishly decorated Home and Garden-type vacation cottages; but it’s not the ghetto either. Homes are modest and well-kept. Homeowners are comprised mostly of middle-aged baby-boomers, preparing for retirement and saving for their kids’ college funds all at the same time.
Most of the children I know from Fairview come from good homes with loving parents who teach them to be well-behaved. I couldn’t see much difference between families in our neighborhood and those in Union Grove. For days I had debated whether to attend a meeting where parents from both neighborhoods would come together to vent their concerns.