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Thursday, May 28, 2015

OSD seeks diversity in workforce

Board tries to find right words to hire more minorities. (September 26, 2013, Page 1)

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    One Response to “OSD seeks diversity in workforce”

    1. am more than a little taken aback by the tenor of the lead on Alyssa Schnugg’s September 26, 2013, article titled “Oxford School District Seeks Diversity.” Intentionally or not, she seems to suggest that the school district’s long overdue attempts to consider diversity as a factor (not the only factor or even the most important factor) in its hiring decisions means that such teachers might be less qualified. I find such an insinuation insulting and uninformed. Are some minority teachers less qualified than some majority ( i.e. white) teachers? Certainly. Just as some white teachers are less qualified than some minority teachers. I am even more troubled that this appears “above the fold” and on the front page of the paper. Such language hints of incendiary topics like racial entitlements and affirmative action and contributes to the continued racial problems that mire our state and our nation. Instead, why not use the space to discuss the merits of a more diverse workforce and the absolute absurdity of the fact that in 2013 the Oxford School District only has one Latino instructor and fails to hire and/or retain significant black faculty?

      By these remarks I do not mean to suggest that the problems (or solutions) are that simple. In fact, it is that kind of simplistic thinking which I expressly reject. It may be “hard” to strike a balance on these issues. I remember a similar debate over 25 years ago when I attended college. I will say to you what we said to the administration of my college then: Can’t find my professors? Look for them.

      There are a myriad of (under explored) reasons why eminently well qualified minority educators (of which there are many) would not want to remain in or come to Oxford, Mississippi. William Faulkner was right,” the past is not forgotten. It’s not even past.”

      Barbara Harris Combs
      Concerned parent
      Assistant Professor of Sociology and Southern Studies, University of Mississippi

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