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Gays, Drugs and Schools: Protecting Kids in Gentrifying Communities
Unformatted Document Text:  relations between diverse residents is the lack of direct communication between the groups (cite). New residents in gentrifying neighborhoods, whether because of fear or because of suburban upbringing, tend to take their concerns to external third parties, such as housing code enforcement or the local police department, rather than solving them with their neighbors directly. This may get action taken more quickly, but creates a feeling of distrust. Schools A final threat to children articulated in these communities is that posed by poor quality neighborhood schools. New residents frequently express their concerns about the quality of the neighborhood schools, and how this will effect both their kids educations, and the stability of the neighborhood: “And hopefully a lot of the new people moving here will want to stay here after they have children. I mean there’s big problems with the public schools in the City of Atlanta, and we’ve had a lot...a handful of neighbors who after they have their children, they move away.” (White, male, 3 year resident) Another resident says: “There’s a baby boom going on in this neighborhood, so in the next five years either people are going to be moving or they’re going to be changing the schools. Because right now the schools here are awful.” (2 year resident) A third new resident was explicit about how new resident parents view the local schools, and how the demographic composition of the area shapes this view: “Folks...are not going to send their kids to (school) because they didn’t want their kid to be the only white kid in the school. And their free lunch percentage is somewhere in the 99 percentile. So while people are willing to talk about things, when it comes to their kids they’re not willing to...people are not going to use their kids as guinea pigs. It’s just not going to happen. You’re never going to meet a parent that sends their kid to be the only kid that’s going to go.” (White, male, 5 year resident) There seems to be a great deal of consensus among the new residents about the poor quality of local schools. This view is bolstered by most press accounts of school performance. 10

Authors: Martin, Leslie.
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relations between diverse residents is the lack of direct communication between the groups (cite).
New residents in gentrifying neighborhoods, whether because of fear or because of suburban
upbringing, tend to take their concerns to external third parties, such as housing code
enforcement or the local police department, rather than solving them with their neighbors
directly. This may get action taken more quickly, but creates a feeling of distrust.
Schools
A final threat to children articulated in these communities is that posed by poor quality
neighborhood schools. New residents frequently express their concerns about the quality of the
neighborhood schools, and how this will effect both their kids educations, and the stability of the
neighborhood:
“And hopefully a lot of the new people moving here will want to stay here after
they have children. I mean there’s big problems with the public schools in the
City of Atlanta, and we’ve had a lot...a handful of neighbors who after they have
their children, they move away.” (White, male, 3 year resident)
Another resident says:
“There’s a baby boom going on in this neighborhood, so in the next five years
either people are going to be moving or they’re going to be changing the schools.
Because right now the schools here are awful.” (2 year resident)
A third new resident was explicit about how new resident parents view the local schools,
and how the demographic composition of the area shapes this view:
“Folks...are not going to send their kids to (school) because they didn’t want their
kid to be the only white kid in the school. And their free lunch percentage is
somewhere in the 99 percentile. So while people are willing to talk about things,
when it comes to their kids they’re not willing to...people are not going to use
their kids as guinea pigs. It’s just not going to happen. You’re never going to
meet a parent that sends their kid to be the only kid that’s going to go.” (White,
male, 5 year resident)
There seems to be a great deal of consensus among the new residents about the poor quality of
local schools. This view is bolstered by most press accounts of school performance.
10


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