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Ethnic Balance on Scholar Teams

May 24, 1985

I vehemently protest the Los Angeles Unified School District's order to have next year's academic decathlon team "reflect the sex and ethnic makeup" of the student body.

As a white male student of Palisades High, I woke up one morning to find that my prospective position on next year's academic decathlon team had been obliterated by my genes.

Our academic decathlon coach, Rose Gilbert, made an announcement to the entire student body for a meeting concerning the team. She would have picked the team, based on Scholastic Aptitude Test scores, grade-point average and teacher recommendations from those interested students who attended the meeting. This method has produced championship teams four years running.

Now, the team will have to be chosen to please Paul Possemato, who will "look at the team and get a feel for the school." What will be Possemato's criteria for "looking?"

I believe in voluntary integration and equal opportunity for all, yet I don't demand that the basketball team let me play, at 5-feet-7, because I represent the shorter part of the Palisades High student body. Where will the justice be if I lose my position on the decathlon team to someone less qualified, but more "reflective" of the student body?

JAY GOLDBERG

Venice

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