Thursday, June 15, 2017


I just read this letter in the Columbia Flier and I think you should, too. I don't know the author but I am taking the liberty of reprinting her letter in its entirety.

Celebrating diversity, a positive for our county

I have been troubled by some recent conversations with fellow parents expressing concerns about the high school that our children will be attending because it is more “diverse” than other county high schools.

I don’t presume to know exactly what they mean by this, but defines diversity as “the inclusion of individuals representing more than one national origin, color, religion, socioeconomic stratum, sexual orientation, etc.”

If a family moves to Columbia and chooses to raise their children here, I would hope that this kind of diversity is one of the reasons why.

When people express concern about a specific neighborhood or school and use “diversity” as a reason, I can’t imagine that they are concerned about the definition.

If you don’t want your children attending school with people who appear, worship, celebrate, live or love differently than them, the problem is not diversity, it’s intolerance.

If there is a problem with behaviors or the staff at a particular school, or you really don’t want your children to associate with certain people, then say what you mean and don’t hide behind a false meaning of an important word.

In this current divisive and sometimes hateful national climate, where nooses have been found near elementary schools and Hispanic and Muslim families feel threatened in the places they call home, let’s try to remember why and how Columbia came to be.

The idea that diversity is a positive thing for all who live here should be celebrated and shared with our children so that it will continue to be a place where people feel welcome.

Shannon Blount

Compare this to a recent Baltimore Sun article about school redistricting in Middle River. 

One mother wrote: "I do not want her surrounded with children whose lifestyle may not have the same values."

Is this perhaps another way of saying I don't want my child in a school that's too "diverse"? 

I rememember looking at possible neighborhoods in Baltimore City as a young married person and having older folks caution me about certain areas. "It's 'mixed', you know."



I remember being stunned when I learned that a local independent school was founded largely as a reaction to integration in the Howard County Public Schools. What is behind this deeply-rooted fear that causes people to shun the "other" and cling to sameness? 

It's a good thing that HCPSS has finally moved forward with the Diversity Coordinator position. Dr. Kevin F. Gilbert will be the Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. He's got his work cut out for him. 

In our diverse community, efforts to embrace inclusion continue to meet with mixed success. Here's a chance to break bread with your neighbors and meet all kinds of people in our community:

Longest Table Dinner Planned at Howard Community College

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