Miss Rebecca A. áPanderhorst, suspended Ann Arbor school teacher who is a candidate for the 'Ann Arbor Board of Education in the June 14 election, has issued the following statement: "I am not a vengeful teacher seeking sympathy for injustices suffered at the hands of the school administration and the school board. As a neophyte teacher in 1969, I sensed the Ann Arbor public school board's callous indifference toward public sentiments, especially those of Black people. I seek to change this aloof attitude. The school board should not cater solely to the interests of ultra-conservative groups. I am a potential advocate for all of the Ann Arbor public school students and parents, Black, white, or poor - the social misfits who reject the system's elitist image of itself . "Ha ving attempted for the past two years as a teacher of French, English, and social studies in this school system, to effect even rudimentary change, I raust conclude that the system is a booby-trapped labyrinth, a device for inaction, especially regarding the legitímate concerns of Black students. White supremacists and pseudo-liberals deliberately make integration intolerable to frústrate Blacks into accepting segregation. As long as Black youngsters continue in integrated schools, sincere Black people must aid them in the struggles for dignity and self-definition within the framework of integration. "The most crucial problem facing the Ann Arbor public schools is not how much more money can be coerced from the unknowing, tax-paying public, but how well the great white fathers use that money to solve problems. Disciplinarians, not discipline, are the problem! I don't subscribe to the notion that Blacks are a powerless people in the I grips of the omnipotent white race, and should behave accordingly. Dr. Benjamin Spock says: "Whites should realize that they are an extremely small, and I increasingly unpopular minority in this world." This is the core of the problem in the Ann Arbor public schools: the white supremacists' doctrine of paternal authoritarianism and condescension. "Other crucial concerns are the inadequacy of drug-abuse treatment and counseling; the school administration's and board's intimidation of Negro employees; rewarding of only the "good nigger," whether teachers, or students; 'recruitment of completely white-selected Negros wearing natural hair-do's, but concealing white-processed minds; uninformed, uninnovative, pencil-pushing school social workers; lack of consistent grie vances policies; lack of continued educational opportunity for students expelled because of the whims of white supremacist principáis; general lack of concern about school buildings with "large" Black populations; indifference toward the nutritional and educational needs of all school-aged young women who become pregnant to prevent both the mother and child from becoming social misfits; unwillingness of white, middle-class teachers and administrators to tolérate people from other social strata; insufficient attention to the needs of physically handicapped and emotionally disturbed students; apathetic, money-eyed "special education" teachers; lack of adequate counseling in career-planning for Black youths; lack of administrative pressures to use the extensive a m ou n t of material on minorities already in the schools which is being deliberately skipped by many white supremacists teachers; and a lack of evaluation of teachers by students (and parents). "IU-conceived, unnecessary and expensive surveys that merely collect dust on shelves; and "feather-bedding" (creating non-functional positions out of friendship) should end. This could eradicate the need to "pink-slip" 256 teachers in the future, all of whom, I predict, will be rehired with, or without approval of the millage and bonding proposals. "The o v e r - a 1 1 impact o f white supremacy concerns me more than the concern for boys and girls being allowed to swim or cook together. However, I am sympathetic toward the whole concept of freedom from adverse sexual discrimination, and especially the social plight of Black girls who find no sympathy for their concerns as tomorrow's Black women. "Black students need not be "everybody's problem"; but rather a part of the educational experience of whites, and vice-versa - without whites reinforcing feelings of superiority in the white students or feelings of inferiority in Black students." Miss Vanderhorst, a native of Charleston, S.C., and a three-year resident of Ann Arbor, holds a bachelor of arts degree in French. She expects to complete her studies for a master of arts degree during summer sessions at the University. She also has studied at Universite Laval in Quebec and Sorbonne of the University of Paris.
Rights Held By
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