An Issue That Needs Your Attention

Nov 2, 2017

The next two meetings of the DeKalb School Board will deal with a recent report recommending a district diversity plan to help ease racial tensions.

Those tensions have been building for a long time, escalating last year after an incident at the high school.

The report is the work of faculty from Northern Illinois University and Western Illinois University, who were commissioned by the board to study the situation. They conducted surveys and focus groups with students, parents, teachers, and administrators. The result is a thoughtful analysis that makes a convincing case that the district needs a diversity plan.

The report stresses the importance of continuing racial and linguistic awareness and action in the schools. It makes the point that the issues faced by our schools are shared by many other communities. DeKalb’s demographics are different now from even a decade ago, and our schools reflect the increasing diversity of our population.

It is commendable that the school district commissioned this report -- but worth noting that it’s the third such report, with similar conclusions, since 2005.

The school board will decide soon. Many hope it will not shelve this report, too, but will take action on the diversity plan -- a way ahead that acknowledges the need for positive changes.

The next meetings are November 7 and 21 in the District Building at 901 S. Fourth Street. They begin at 7:30 p.m. and are open to the public.

Now is the time to speak up.

I’m Deborah Booth, and that’s my perspective.