Dr. King’s dream is not being met by unequal treatment for New Lebanon School

FI-Letter-to-the-EditorTo the Editor

Last Thursday, the Stand Up Against Racism event was hosted by the YWCA and I listened intently as the speakers quoted Dr. Martin Luther King.

I began to imagine Dr. King coming to Greenwich in 2014. His impending visit would be met with excitement and pride. Headlines would proudly announce his visit. The red carpet would be unrolled. There would be pageantry, awards and dinner.

Later that day, Dr. King would have time to visit just one Greenwich school, New Lebanon. Walking through the halls Dr. King would see severe overcrowding there. He’d see a classroom divided into four classes and special education held on the gym stage. He’d see there’s no space for specials, tutoring or conferences. There’s no teachers workspace, no storage and a tiny outdoor playground with old, worn equipment. The halls are crowded and noisy. Dr. King is puzzled and asks, “How can this be a Greenwich school?”

The children are beautiful and excited as they crowd into the gym, their faces bright with anticipation. They are so happy that they will see and hear Dr. King. Dr. King enters the crowded room and smiles at the children. He speaks with love and concern and he embraces every child with his voice.

But upon finishing his talk and leaving the stage, Dr. King admits his confusion. He asks his hosts how segregation can still exist in such a wealthy, intelligent community. Sadly Dr. King realizes that change has not come. It is still the belief of too many that separate is equal.

Dr. King quietly repeats what he uttered so long ago, “I have a dream, that someday, my children will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the quality of their character. I have a dream. I have a dream.”

 

Samarpana Tamm
Greenwich

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