Diversity: Why Our Family Chose Public School

2020. The year that will be remembered in infamy, unfortunately for more than one reason.

As an adult, it has been hard enough to process the information and experiences we have encountered in the first half of this year. Then, as parents, we turn around and translate this into meaningful information for our children. I have thought and thought and thought about EVERYTHING under the moon, and then thought about it again.

Children are smart and pick up more from their surroundings than we can imagine. They watch commercials, listen to grown-up conversations in the background, and ask questions as we drive past protests in our car. I want to make sure to explain world events to the kids in a way that they understand and a way that encourages them to ask more questions.

Diversity is Key

Do I know all of the answers? No. Do I really even know any of the answers? No.

But I have been doing a good bit of soul searching and introspection and have ended up on diversity.

What is the best way to educate our children on diversity and equality? How can I immerse them at a young age in an atmosphere that will mimic the workforce and real world they will be in as adults? We had this discussion almost three years ago when we were in the process of transitioning our kids from a small, private preschool to elementary school.

We chose public school; we ultimately decided a diverse learning environment was more important for the development of our kids than going to school with the children of our friends. It was a tough decision, but never once have we questioned the path we chose.

Learning Never Ends

Have we had to answer tough questions that they bring home? Yes. But now more than ever I am glad that they have this experience during such an impressionable time in their life. I know the kids are at a vulnerable age and I want to make sure that they are open-minded, kind, and treat everyone they encounter with the respect deserved now and in the future.

The best part of this world is that when they learn and experience new things, we do too. Learning never ends and we as parents are no exception to that rule. Our children provide us with the chance to open our eyes and view things differently; we can become better people because of them and for them.

Lauren James
Lauren is a native New Orleanian that was transplanted to Lafayette in 2008 by her husband of 11 years, Daniel. She has a B.S.N. from Louisiana State University – School of Nursing and a M.S.N. from the University of South Alabama. Her “paying gig” is as a Nurse Practitioner with a focus in Quality/Infection Prevention at a local hospital. Her other full-time gig is as keeper of her home and mom to William 7, Mary Kathryn 6, and Benjamine 2. Most of her days at home are spent picking up toys and socks off the floor so the family Bernese Mountain Dog, Tipper, does not demolish them. When she has a spare moment, she enjoys reading crime novels, playing board game with her kids, cooking and baking foods that are not on her diet, and finding any reason to celebrate by drinking her beloved champagne. To burn off a few calories and any leftover energy, the family enjoys walking or riding bikes on the shaded boulevard on which they live. Lauren has fallen in love with the people and city of Lafayette and is very proud to raise her family here and to now call it home.


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