In How dare you ask me to choose??!! — Part 1, I discussed my confusion of having to choose the ethnicity of my daughter while registering her for Pre-K. I vowed to send a letter to the Mayor, which I did, and here’s what I wrote:
Dear Mayor De Blasio,
I sincerely appreciate all your efforts to effect change in New York City since your election to office. However, as I am new to the NYC School System via my daughter now being enrolled for Pre-K, I was dumb-founded when asked to only choose ONE option for her ethnicity (pre-k application questionnaire) when she is clearly a combination of two. The kind lady handling my application politely explained that the computer system will only accept one option so I must choose only ONE. She further explained that many other parents have also found this quite unsettling but are fully aware that it is not the fault of the school itself but the fault of an outdated system.
I found this to be very unfair and quite absurd since we are in 2015 and bi-racial families have existed for many, many years. Why has the school system that profiles our kids and ultimately the ethnic composition of the families in our city not yet been updated to reflect and accept such a vital aspect of the survey system?
Please Mayor, I humbly ask that this be addressed so parents are not put in the horrible position of choosing the ethnicity of their bi-racial child(ren). If not for that reason but also consider my request for the simple fact that the survey does not accurately depict the ethnic composition of the children comprising our NYC Schools.
Mayor, I do hope you are having a wonderful Summer so far and look forward to more wonderful changes for our beloved city in your mayoral days ahead.
Blessings to you and your lovely family.
I see now that I should have sat on this letter a couple days before sending as there are a few changes I should have made, but alas, I was able to send this letter via an online portal, and received an automated response to my email address. However, I sit now with bated breath not sure if I will receive an actual response from the Mayor’s office.
Do you think the Mayor/mayor’s office will respond? What do you think he would say? What do you think he should say? Am I in over my head? Should I have curtailed my activism to the occasional call to 311 to report a malfunctioning crosswalk signal or the fire hydrant open to full blast running for days? Hmm, dunno, but this event really bothered me and I’m not sure I can rest if it’s not addressed. Oh well, we’ll see… stay tuned for Part 3!
Contents written: June 23 2015 | Edited: June 26 & June 30 2015 | Copyright 2015 Moylom Enterprises
Last week, while registering my daughter for pre-k, one of the questionnaires tucked in with all the other registration paperwork, asked about her ethnicity. The usual options were given: Black, White, Hispanic, Asian etc. I selected the two that applied to her and continued to fill out the rest of the paperwork. When I took everything back to the desk for inspection before submitting into the system, the lovely lady doing my application quietly explained that I was only able to select just one option for ethnicity/race since their computer system will only accept one!
I stood there dumb-founded, trying to make sense of what she had just said. I’m not the one to make a scene, as I am often asked to repeat myself since I speak so softly sometimes, so I politely asked, ” Why? Why in 2015, when bi-racial unions/ marriages etc have produced bi-racial children, have they not thought of updating such a critical facet to their survey system?” Well, to be honest, I didn’t say it so eloquently but I do remember asking, “How can you ask me to choose?”
She agreed with me, then proceeded to explain that many other parents have asked the very same question, which makes me wonder what our new mayor Mr De Blasio puts on his application when filling out such questionnaires for his bi-racial, city-schooled kids? This is one of those issues that won’t be resolved by making waves at the school. After all, I’m new, and I’m sure there will be many battles to fight in the years ahead (Why do I have a 4 yr old at age 40 again? Oye!), but if change must come this issue needs to be handled at a city level, which is why I think a letter to our dear Mayor is in order. I am hoping that since he too is new, and in full swing of making and effecting huge changes to the way the city does things, then maybe, just maybe, my letter will be received with an open mind — especially since this matter speaks of his bi-racial family composition directly.
I’ve never written to a city official before, at least not outside signing petitions, completing census surveys or attaching my signature to a tax check destined for dear old Uncle Sam, so to be honest, I’m not sure what to say. But I feel this is a letter I must write and I hope the good Mayor sees it before his exit from office.
Ultimately, I had to choose an option, as I was in a rush, had no desire to argue and knew fully well fussing wouldn’t make much difference. I chose the most logical option and these are the factors that attributed to my final selection:
My daughter lives with me since her dad and I are separated and heading for divorce. So eventually I will have sole custody and I will make all decisions for her well being, which I already do anyways.
Even if she has her dad’s complexion and would more easily be associated with his racial status, I make an effort to expose her to many different cultures and ways of thinking so ultimately whether I choose one or the other I hope to incorporate as much of his ethnicity into her life as I can so she knows and appreciates her ethnic origins — I love diversity and wouldn’t want to rob her of that!
Spite. Why should I choose his ethnicity when I’m the one raising her ALL BY MYSELF!!! (Not the best of reasons but, hey, I’m human and have lots to be angry about when it comes to him).
So there, unsettling as all this was, I finally chose my ethnicity and the kind lady at the desk agreed (like she even had a choice… lol). Now off to work on my letter to Mayor De Blasio. Wish me luck ! ^_^
Written: June 22 2015 | Edited: June 26 2015 | Copyright 2015 Moylom Enterprises