Westtown's Integration: "A Natural and Fruitful Enlargement of Our Lives"

Westtown's Integration: "A Natural and Fruitful Enlargement of Our Lives" Margaret Morris Haviland* One ofthe central issues in education today is diversity. Faculty, school boards, parents, administrators, and students argue, hold meetings and demonstrations, and conduct studies on what it means to have, develop and nurture a diverse student body. Universities argue before the Supreme Court that the very nature of their educational charge requires a diverse student body.1 This marks a sea change in the history ofmost schools as recently as fifteen or twenty years ago. In the 1920s, private secondary schools and colleges grappled with issues of admitting those who were not members of tightly-defined affinity groups, but were closely related through marriage and other sorts ofalliances. Later Jewish-Americans began to be considered for elite private institutions. Beginning in the middle of the twentieth century many schools with the best ofintentions opened their doors to select African-Americans and other minorities, expecting to provide these stu- dents, identified as underprivileged and somehow deserving, with all the benefits their institution might bestow.2 Today, these same schools are faced with how to treat and accept gay and lesbian students. Once admitted, the minorities doing all the receiving, the institutions doing all the giving. In the past decade, these groups http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Quaker History Friends Historical Association

Westtown's Integration: "A Natural and Fruitful Enlargement of Our Lives"

Quaker History, Volume 95 (2) – Apr 4, 2006

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Publisher
Friends Historical Association
Copyright
Copyright © 2006 Friends Historical Association
ISSN
1934-1504
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Margaret Morris Haviland* One ofthe central issues in education today is diversity. Faculty, school boards, parents, administrators, and students argue, hold meetings and demonstrations, and conduct studies on what it means to have, develop and nurture a diverse student body. Universities argue before the Supreme Court that the very nature of their educational charge requires a diverse student body.1 This marks a sea change in the history ofmost schools as recently as fifteen or twenty years ago. In the 1920s, private secondary schools and colleges grappled with issues of admitting those who were not members of tightly-defined affinity groups, but were closely related through marriage and other sorts ofalliances. Later Jewish-Americans began to be considered for elite private institutions. Beginning in the middle of the twentieth century many schools with the best ofintentions opened their doors to select African-Americans and other minorities, expecting to provide these stu- dents, identified as underprivileged and somehow deserving, with all the benefits their institution might bestow.2 Today, these same schools are faced with how to treat and accept gay and lesbian students. Once admitted, the minorities doing all the receiving, the institutions doing all the giving. In the past decade, these groups

Journal

Quaker HistoryFriends Historical Association

Published: Apr 4, 2006

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