DEAR HARRIETTE: My daughter goes to a majority-white school. We are African-American, but we love that she goes to this school because the education is excellent. Our one real concern is that there are never many black students. For the five years that she has been at this school, there may have been at most four black students during any school year. I wish the school had more diversity, and I am willing to help it find people, but it doesn't seem interested. I am committed to my kid, so I want the school to take this seriously. What can I do? -- Black Lives Matter, Bronx, New York
DEAR BLACK LIVES MATTER: Your school’s leadership could use a wake-up call about what diversity means. First, find out what the school’s mission is regarding diversity. Request a meeting with the dean or head of school. Express your concerns clearly, pointing out that you believe the student body would be better off if it reflected a broader range of ethnic backgrounds. Ask the administrators if they are doing anything to recruit minorities and what the stumbling blocks have been.
Some schools say that they can’t find full-paying minority families and they have limited financial aid available. That could be true at your school, but guess what? There are plenty of minorities who can pay full fare. Recommend that the school hire a recruiter who knows the black and Latino communities. Even if it tries it for just one year, this can help to diversify the student body pool.
If you find that your school’s leadership is not listening, consider talking to the other minority parents to see if they will join with you in pushing the leadership toward greater diversity. If nothing works, you may want to reconsider where your daughter goes to school.