The Times-Gazette of Shelbyville, TN published Part II of a five part series on the friction developing as the population of secondary migration Somali refugees grows in this town of about 20,000 (for our local readers, that’s about half the size of Hagerstown, MD). The culture clash is occuring in the school system.
Gray[Bedford County School Superintendent] also said that the school system has “very definitely” had some culture clashes with the Somalians since they have moved to Bedford County.
“Out of 11 principals, five of them are female, and we have assistant principals that are female. Their lack of respect for woman causes us a major problem on the front end,” Gray said. He added that “we found it to be the case” that the Somalis have difficulties with women in supervisory roles.
Gray referred to “unrealistic expectations” in one incident, where the Somalis had apparently been promised service the school system does not provide, such as child care.
“We had a particular incident at one school where they had been promised it [child care] and they were demanding it,” Gray said. “They are very demanding. Their culture is absolutely different from ours and different from the Hispanics also. I can’t speak for all the Somalians, but their culture is tremendously different.”
Judging by the comments posted already at the Times-Gazette, citizens of Shelbyville are starting to boil.
I just found this link very interesting! A Somali blog is posting the Times-Gazette (Part I), “Somalis find haven” article. Humm, do you think they are advertising for Shelbyville? Better watch out Shelbyville, they might be sending more Somalis your way. Didn’t Catholic Charities Director for Tennessee, Holly Johnson, have this to say:
“…..so these folks are moving there because of the available jobs, affordable housing, welcoming community, etc.”