Rich and strange

In LA, it’s a status symbol to say your child attends a “diverse” school, writes Cathy Seipp. A few years ago, she toured an elite private girls’ school.

The screenwriter mom who led our parents tour chatted happily about how her daughter was now exposed to “the real world” thanks to this school: “Her first week here she left her wallet on top of her backpack in the hall and it was stolen!” I thought, “Where’s she going with this?” “We have such a wonderful, diverse group of scholarship girls here,” the mom explained. “So that was certainly a life lesson for my daughter.”

Did I really think we’d fit in at a school so posh that stolen wallets are considered a fabulous extra benefit of diversity?

It’s usually possible to learn life lessons without paying private school tuition.

About Joanne


  1. That’s a horrible story. It sounded like they were teaching the young girl of privilege that you have to keep the good silverware hidden when there are poor folks with (presumably) darker complexions around.

    That’s a shaky presumption to make, too. I attended a school in a rich area and petty theft was still quite common. On balance, I’d say scholarship kids are less likely to steal wallets.

  2. Walter E. Wallis says:

    Anyone who leaves a wallet unattended, a laptop exposed in a parked car or a purse in a shopping cart needs education. Think of it as evolution in action.

  3. Walter, I think the thief’s education is far more lacking. But that’s the kind of education that only the parents can do effectively.

  4. Amritas says:

    boo: I attended a school in a rich area and petty theft was still quite common.

    There’s theft, and then there’s “diverse” theft, which is soooo much kewler. Gag.

    Sounds like neo-racist indoctrination in action. It’s OK to be a bigot as long as one uses the proper language. At least old school bigots didn’t feel the need to utter platitudes about di-farce-ity.

    Joanne: It’s usually possible to learn life lessons without paying private school tuition.

    Just how do we poor folks learn life lessons? We don’t, which is why it is our duty to obey the Wealthy Ones who have learned life lessons. Could we ever cope without our elites to guide us?

  5. Jack Tanner says:

    My son attends a public school in a super crunch neighborhood in Boston. His kindergarten teacher was openly gay. She ended up missing 3 weeks of work in the spring because she had to take her son out of the school for disciplinary reasons. She said she didn’t believe in disciplining students. At the end of the year some parents wanted to circulate a petition to nominate her as state teacher of the year.

  6. nailsagainsttheboard says:

    Two Darwin awards to the screenwriter mom and her daughter.

    No ‘diversity’ of IQ or maturity in that family…

  7. I found this section of Seipp’s article even more telling:

    “Privileged L.A. parents will put up with their kids mixing with others not of their ilk, though, if a school is a brass ring — especially one that lets them brag about their devotion to diversity. But you sometimes have to wonder about their reasoning. Take Seeds Elementary at UCLA, which, because it’s run by the university’s education department, tries to approximate the ethnic composition of the Los Angeles Unified School District.

    I once asked a Seeds mother why she didn’t just send her child to one of those real L.A. public schools that Seeds so carefully mirrors, saving thousands of dollars in tuition. “Very funny,” she said icily. But I wasn’t trying to be funny — just curious about the paradox that parents who turn up their noses at the LAUSD can be so frantic about getting their kids into a supposed clone-school that they’ve been known to sue when disappointed.”

    Doesn’t that just say everything?

  8. Walter E. Wallis says:

    They shut down the local “Black” high school, the one my daughter graduated from, and everyone in that district majored in Bus Riding.