I was very proud to move back to Omaha a few months ago, and now I'm just shaking my head.
Omaha school district to split along racial lines
LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) -- In a move decried by some as state-sponsored segregation, the Legislature voted Thursday to divide the Omaha school system into three districts -- one mostly black, one predominantly white and one largely Hispanic.
Supporters said the plan would give minorities control over their own school board and ensure that their children are not shortchanged in favor of white youngsters.
Republican Gov. Dave Heineman signed the measure into law.
Omaha Sen. Pat Bourne decried the bill, saying, "We will go down in history as one of the first states in 20 years to set race relations back."
"History will not, and should not, judge us kindly," said Sen. Gwen Howard of Omaha.
Attorney General Jon Bruning sent a letter to one of the measure's opponents saying that the bill could be in violation of the Constitution's equal-protection clause and that lawsuits almost certainly will be filed.
But its backers said that at the very least, its passage will force policymakers to negotiate seriously about the future of schools in the Omaha area.
The breakup would not occur until July 2008, leaving time for lawmakers to come up with another idea.
"There is no intent to create segregation," said Omaha Sen. Ernie Chambers, the Legislature's only black senator and a longtime critic of the school system.
He argued that the district is already segregated, because it no longer buses students for integration and instead requires them to attend their neighborhood school.
Chambers said the schools attended largely by minorities lack the resources and quality teachers provided others in the district. He said the black students he represents in north Omaha would receive a better education if they had more control over their district.
Coming from Chambers, the argument was especially persuasive to the rest of the Legislature, which voted three times this week in favor of the bill before it won final passage on the last day of the session.
Omaha Public Schools Superintendent John Mackiel said the law is unconstitutional and will not stand.
"There simply has never been an anti-city school victory anywhere in this nation," Mackiel said. "This law will be no exception."
The 45,000-student Omaha school system is 46 percent white, 31 percent black, 20 percent Hispanic, and 3 percent Asian or American Indian.
Boundaries for the newly created districts would be drawn using current high school attendance areas. That would result in four possible scenarios; in every scenario, two districts would end up with a majority of students who are racial minorities.
Copyright 2006 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
I cried tonight. Not because I got bad news. Not because I stubbed my toe very hard. Because I have been painting our freaking laundry room for a week now and it still looks like shit.
Seriously. It all started last Friday (March 31) when I was driving to Kansas City at 0-six-hundred. Those drives are dangerous. During those drives I’ll do anything to stay awake and that normally means lots of brainstorming. “What new hobby should I pick up this week?” “What other fundraisers can I do to raise money for the 3-Day?” “What should we name our kids?” (I do this drive a lot. I get desperate). That said, March 31 I decided we were repainting our laundry room. The color swatch had been taped to the wall for months; it’s not like it was completely out of the Ruby Red.
Sunday, April 2 Michelle and I ventured to the Home Depot. (Don’t ask where Trevor was. I’ll just say he was home and it involved a mixer, vanilla, chocolate chips and a 350-degree oven.) I purchased the paint and shelves to replace the existing ones. By the time I got home, it was pretty late in the day and all I had time to do is tape.
Painting started this week. Saturday was step one. Primer. I should mention I got the primer for free from our friends, Josh and Shannon. I took the primer and probably should have made sure it matched our paint, worked with our paint, etc. But they offered a gift and I accepted. Thank you, Hites. Yesterday was coat 1. Turned out blotchy. I’m thinking it will look fab after coat two. That came tonight. If you want to know the outcome, you should have seen the tears streaming down my face while I was lying in the garage. Yes. My home improvement project made me cry. I just don’t understand how I can suck so bad! It’s PAINT! You learn how to paint with your fingers when you are one. It’s not supposed to be that hard.
Moral is: I’m no Picasso or Van Gough or kindergartener apparently, although I do have a mess on my hands but it’s called the laundry room. Pretty soon the red paint is going to be black from so many coats. But I’m going to give it one more whirl. If any of you are more painting-inclined than I am, I’d love thoughts/feedback on how to get an even red paint.
Today Trevor and I celebrate our four-month anniversary. We have big plans – he’s at the bar and I’m about to put another coat of paint on our laundry room :-).
I’ll tell you a little something we won’t be doing to celebrate our 120 day anniversary: watch our wedding video! Can you believe we STILL have not received it? Today, friend and co-worker April called them. She, my “personal attendant,” called for me because I am busy (maybe out of town? Not 100% sure what she said) and need the video by this weekend when my family is in town for Easter. Basically Don told April they covered a Bar Mitzvah sometime between now and our wedding, and the boy committed suicide after his event. He said, “it makes it hard to be creative.” April told him everything I want to and would have. Thanks again for calling, April!
Now, I am not being insensitive at all. I’m just being realistic from a business perspective. Omaha Wedding Video cashed a check worth a lot of money. They signed a contract that said they would deliver the final video within two months of the event. As they left our wedding (early) they said we’d have it in January.
At this point, I just want our the memories we paid them to capture and the pictures they still have from our photo montage. Once I do, I’ll offer brides-to-be and anyone looking for a videographer my opinions.
I’m curious…what would you all do if you were in our shoes?