Originally published in The Federalist.
When you’re the mom of a big family, you get a lot of questions from the kids. It’s not easy to bewilder me. But I was gobsmacked when my 10-year-old came home from school and said, “Mom, I need to know: Are we segregationists?”
After confirming we all understood what a segregationist was, I realized my child had a point. Our Catholic school had unexpectedly closed down, so we enrolled the kids in the local public school, which is predominately white. I had to explain to my child that while we are decidedly not segregationists, our public education system—which divides people based on ZIP codes and district lines—is, in fact, creating de facto segregation.
These lines appear to be arbitrary, but they’re not: They provide wealthy neighborhoods safe, quality education, and they trap low-income and minority students in failing and dangerous districts.
At my child’s former school—one of the many Catholic schools in the greater Philadelphia area—there were many children of color and immigrants. These kids didn’t have to be lectured on how to be “antiracists.” Instead, they shared…