Dear Editor:

In 2013, I sat in an interview for a position in the Canon-McMillan school district. A member of the all-white search committee asked, “Why Canon-Mac?” I replied, ‘I am a resident. The demographics of the district are changing. There’s a migration of diverse populations to this region. I can assist the students, parents, and the entire school community with this transition. You don’t want to become Woodland Hills.”

That response, if taken the wrong way, could’ve buried me! Instead, I was hired as an assistant principal. I knew my value and prompted the committee to process something they never had to think about in their all-white world.

As a Canonsburg resident who owned a newly-constructed home, I quickly made my presence known in the district I paid high taxes to. I wasn’t merely happy to get a seat at their table. I wanted to eat.

In the past 30 years, an influx of Black Pittsburghers have migrated to the suburbs – especially out East to areas such as Plum, Monroeville, Churchill, and Murrysville. Some Blacks are simply happy to mention they live there; a measure of success. That’s not good enough! Our presence MUST be acknowledged and the communities we reside in must be responsive to the culture we bring. Culturally-relevant school curriculums and hiring of diverse staff must be discussed.
Black suburbanites must be measured by something other than how successful their children are in WPIAL sports! #DemandRespect

Heath Bailey
School Administrator
Abu Dhabi Education Council
United Arab Emirates

 

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