Deal With Racism As an Ongoing Ill

No amount or level of bigotry displayed by students at a school is acceptable. Period.

Sadly, there seems to be little educators can do about it.

During their meeting last week, Ohio County Board of Education members heard from five people, including some students, who said many African-American students at Wheeling Park High School believe they are targeted for abuse by some other students. They said use of the “N-word” is common at the school.

How many WPHS students engage in racist talk or harassment? We don’t know. Again, however, there is no acceptable level.

To their credit, school officials are not trying to sweep the problem under the carpet. It will be discussed again at the next board meeting, at 6 p.m. Feb. 26 at Steenrod Elementary School. Already, there are plans to hire a professional diversity consultant.

But, as board member Tim Birch pointed out, bigotry usually starts at home. “The parents’ attitude has to change, and I don’t know how you do it. … I wish there was a magic wand to change this.”

So do we. There is not, however.

Racism is a social ill educators simply cannot cure on their own.

But they have to try.