Boxed In by Fairfax Schools' 'Race Survey Form'
By Brad Johnson
This week, I received a letter (actually, my “parents and guardians” received it, but I’m old enough to speak for myself) from Fairfax School Superintendent Jack D. Dale informing me that I must fill out an “Ethnicity and Race Survey Form.” The letter stated that “the federal government requires that both ethnicity and race be identified” and asked me to indicate which of the categories provided I use to describe myself.
I do not wish for the federal government to identify me as a member of any group that I have not voluntarily joined, a distinction that extends to racial and ethnic groups. The letter goes on to say, in boldface type now, “If you do not answer both questions, school personnel are required to make selections for you.” I reject the premise that federal, state or local governments have any right to dictate my identity, racial or otherwise. I do not consider myself a member of any of the groups provided, I have no desire to join any of these groups, and I do not wish the government to regard me as anything but an individual.
I regard race as a social fabrication. Perhaps the government should do the same.
The writer is entering his senior year at McLean High School.
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