HAYS, KS -- Commemorating the 51st anniversary of the Brown v. Topeka Board of Education ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court, Fort Hays State University's Office of Multicultural Affairs will host a debate and forum on topics related to race and education at 12:15 p.m. Wednesday, May 4, in the Memorial Union cafeteria.
Ame Lambert, multicultural program advisor, said topics to be covered in the debate and forum include:
-- Did we really make any progress desegregating schools in Kansas? If so, why did the courts rule that Topeka public schools were out of compliance in 1982 and order them to develop plans to comply with the original ruling?
-- This second order led to the creation of magnet schools in Topeka. The idea of the Magnet schools was to build superior schools (in terms of academics, resources and facilities) in predominantly minority neighborhoods in order to attract white students to these neighborhoods. Is it effective? Is it right?
-- Are there really benefits to segregated schools, as some historically minority colleges assert? What are the drawbacks?
-- Is affirmative action a real solution? Does it really assist minority students? Does it level the playing field? Is it reverse racism? Does it encourage laziness?
The session will open with some personal insights into desegregation and affirmative action and then Dr. Bill Shanahan, assistant professor of communication studies and director of forensics at FHSU, and his debate team will debate the pros and cons of each issue. Then there will be time for questions and or insights from the audience.