To the editor:
As president of Lindbergh High School’s 2005 Senior Class, I would like to ardently defend my district and Superintendent James Sandfort’s wise support of the voluntary desegregation program.
I fully agree with Dr. Sandfort’s statement that “diversity is essential to the quality of a good school district.”
As a student in Lindbergh, I have several friends as a result of the “busing” program; these students contribute positively academically, socially and culturally to Lindbergh High School. Lindbergh would be incomplete without the voluntary desegregation program.
A fact Mr. Hudwalker may have forgotten — or never learned? — is that the “transfer program” he so detests stems directly from legislation of Congress and statehouses. It is not “a failed social program … forced upon us by judicial activism.” Perhaps it “failed” to change his mind, but it has certainly not failed to positively transform America.
When I contemplate Mr. Hudwalker’s statement to “think about the millions of dollars … spent on busing that could have been spent on education for all of our local children,” I can only question: What “local” child has ever been denied education because of a “transfer” student?
Our schools must teach us tolerance, open-mindedness and unselfishness toward our fellow man. By bringing kids from urban areas to the suburbs, Lindbergh enriches the entire student body’s educational experience and better prepares us for positive citizenship in American democracy. Perhaps people like Mr. Hudwalker never had such positive lessons; that some people still hold such backward views testifies to the need to redouble our efforts to teach the next generation tolerance and democratic open-mindedness.
I applaud Dr. Sandfort and his support of voluntary desegregation; I only wish the Mehlville administrators and board could have exercised as much foresight and leadership in the true education of the students.
Paul G. Nauert
2005 Senior Class