Friday, September 01, 2006

Dalton High School New Student Body

Dalton, Georgia, is located about 20 miles below Chattanooga and the Tennessee line. Almost every hill in the area witnessed skirmishes and fights in the Civil War. About twelve miles west the infamous Chickamauga site, which was the 2nd bloodiest Civil War battle fought. Dalton downtown has the only full size statue of Confederate General Joseph Johnston.

It is the self proclaimed “Carpet Capital of the World”.

Being the carpet capital of world the big carpet companies imported cheap illegal labor from south of the border. Low labor costs = bigger profits.

I know a person living in the area that applied for a job at a carpet mill and found one of the qualifications is that one must be affluent in the Spanish language. That is a cleverly worded qualification that excludes almost all but one ethnic group.

I check on-line the daily newspaper in Dalton. I go straight to the obituaries because I have a lot of kin that live in the rural areas surrounding Dalton. Occasionally, before I am able to click onto the obituaries a headline might grab me and I click on it and glance over it. The other day, one did just that:

The headline said, DALTON HIGH SCHOOL NOW OVER 65% HISPANIC.

Wow. That is a majority. This morning I was thinking of the social upheaval that must have happened.

I bet, up until this point, Dalton High School was much like any other medium size southern town high school that the rich and beautiful ruled. They were the elite. Usually they were also the jocks and the cheerleaders. They picked on or ignored the nerds and everyone else they considered socially inferior to them.

I wonder if times have changed. Does Jose’ and his friends who parents are carpet mill laborers and field workers walk proudly down the halls while the jocks and cheerleader-types walk looking down at their feet?

I see a boom of private schools in Dalton’s future.

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