New Brunswick — In a bid to bring back old-fashioned, pre-Civil Rights segregation, New Brunswick’s Education Minister Serge Rousselle is demanding that students who speak different languages, have various medical conditions, and are of different income levels, nationalities and races, travel on separate schoolbuses.
“It’s very clear by the Supreme Court decision that we need to have distinct buses to segregate our children,” Rousselle said at an early morning press conference.
The controversy began when Kent County officials were forced to admit they had allowed English children to co-mingle with French children on the same bus. The situation became public knowledge when an English student, now identified as Rosy Perkins, refused orders to give up her seat in the English section of the bus after the French section was filled.
“I have no idea how long this busing arrangement has existed, but it stops now,” demanded Rousselle.
Despite the provincial government heavily investing in bilingualism and multiculturalism, Rousselle believes students who speak different languages or are of different nationalities should not only be required to travel on separate buses and attend separate schools, they also should use separate public toilets, park benches, and even be seated in different sections of restaurants.
“Our Charter of Rights and Freedoms guarantees that all minorities have their own education system and be able to live in an environment based entirely on their own language and culture,” he said.
In fact, Rousselle told The Manatee he is working on plans to add additional busing systems based on gender, sexual orientation, income level and medical history. “Eventually, all albino transgender Germans will have their own schools and special schoolbuses.”
Provincial NDP Leader Dominic Cardy, who is a strong proponent of the desegregation movement, disagrees. “Schoolbuses are a mode of transportation, not ‘educational facilities’; that places them outside the Charter.” Cardy pointed out that the decision to bus all their students together was made by local Kent County parents to save money and promote friendship between the children.
Rousselle vehemently disagrees with Cardy’s stance on desegregation and has vowed, despite the provincial deficit, to hire more teachers to ride around on schoolbuses to ensure the buses are considered “minority language educational facilities on wheels.”
Rousselle wants to reassure New Brunswick citizens that his motives are in the best interest of kids’ education. “Segregation is about equality and not having children who speak different languages or have different income levels spread scabies or pollute each other’s gene pool.”
Despite the jarring similarities between Rousselle’s stance on segregated busing and the political climate in Mississippi during the 1960s, officials insist they are invested in multiculturalism and bilingualism because it is good for the economy. “When companies come to New Brunswick because of our multicultural and bilingual workforce, every bilingual or multicultural job they create, creates 2 unilingual jobs,” said Commissioner of Official Languages Katherine d’Entremont. “It’s guaranteed 3 jobs in 1!”
When this Manatee reporter asked how more students could become multicultural or bilingual when they are not allowed to see, touch or speak with each other, d’Entremont would only say: “It’s not my job to figure out how to make it happen or even what it costs. My job is just to promote it.”
Until the matter is settled, Kent County officials are asking English and ginger Scottish LGBT students who share buses with colourblind Argentinian and French students with myopia to wear triangular patches of various colours so bus drivers can easily differentiate between them.