Monday, May 10, 2004


I really appreciate the big special section on high-school scholars The World-Herald puts out every year. Yesterday’s version, ‘’Driven to Succeed,’’ had 18 pages of inspiring accomplishments and impressive credentials for this year’s crop of Nebraskans and western Iowans.

But there was something missing: nonwhite faces.

The nine members of the newspaper’s All State Academic Team are all Caucasians. Only one is female.

Of the 48 seniors named to the newspaper’s four regional academic first teams, there are a couple of Asian faces, but no other racial minorities. None on the second-team members, either. I took a pretty good look at the 665 kids pictured as earning ‘’honorable mention’’ status, and didn’t see any African-American or Hispanic faces there, either.

Not even among the Key Staffers, the journalism kids named from each school -- whose ranks I’m proud to have been part of an eon ago, when I rode my dinosaur to Westside High School.

We all know that smarts and gifts and ability and talent are sprinkled equally among the races.

So how come after 13 years in our schools, it doesn’t look like it?

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