When Barack Obama gave his now famous speech about race in America, it gave people a reason to talk about a subject that is right up there with religion and politics in the taboo topic pantheon.
But students in a growing number of first-ring suburban school districts do more than just discuss racial issues; they live them every day. Students are not only exposed to people of different races but cultures as evidenced by the growth of English as a Second Language programs. Go into many of the schools in the towns of Tonawanda, Amherst and Cheektowaga and the population is akin to a meeting of the United Nations.
That was the point of my column today , which was centered on the efforts of one of the local BOCES districts to help students appreciate diversity.
Today's students are living a kind of integration that was unimaginable in the suburbs even 25 years ago. The question is: What will that mean for their - and the nation's - future?
--- Bruce Andriatch