It is bad enough that we still are having to fight for an equitable education for Black children in American schools.
Now, we have to fight to ensure that the water Black children are drinking in school isn’t killing them.
If Black children can’t even get clean water in schools, how far have we really come?
There is a water crisis across America in lower-income communities yet the media chooses to focus on Donald Trump’s tweets. In Flint, Newark and even in some Atlanta schools we are dealing with this—in 2019. Poisonous water from aged pipes and sewage systems.
Drinking Water in Schools for Black Children Is Full of Lead and We’re Sick of It!
This type of inhumane treatment is always centered around race. We know that if a school with predominantly white children had high percentages of lead in their water it would be resolved immediately. Days, weeks, months and years can go by and Black children can still have high levels of lead in the water flowing through the pipes.
Will Black children’s health and wellness ever be considered?
The Flint Water Crisis reminded America just how real the threat of lead in water is. In fact, several states, at least 24, require regular testing of lead in water. However, how many of these school districts are really and truly improving the piping in school systems?
Black parents don’t just have to worry about tactics of the school to prison pipeline that funnels Black children into special education. Adding to the list of the lack of safe routes to schools, poor nutrition programs and resources of social wellness, Black parents aren’t even sure if their child is drinking clean water.
I recently asked parents in Douglasville if they take time to taste the food their children are eating in school. Are you looking to see if the water foundations are even clean? Severals parents stated that they trust the workers who are fellow neighbors.
Trust without accountability has lead Black families to believe a beautiful lie.
But does this make the food and water clean? There were several parents who give the universal response, “We ate the school food, we survived, so can our children.” This could be very true, however, this only proves the fact that Black children experience poorer water and food quality in their schools.
Herein lies the problem. It’s the assumption that because some Black communities are used to fewer resources and a lower quality of food and water in schools that we simply should be used to it.
We should never get used to anything that puts the health of Black children at risk.
Poisoning in water and poor food quality are also factors fromsocial experiments that cause Black children to have learning disabilities qualifying them special education programs.
The greatest fear of this tragic epidemic is that it will become another example of how America experiments on Black children.
Jason has worked in education for over 15 years as a teacher, blogger and community advocate. He speaks and writes primarily about the need to improve education for Black boys, particularly increasing the number of Black male educators in schools. In addition to blogging here at EdLanta, Jason is also a featured writer at Education Post.