This is a new low, even for a school in the South. Students at Maumelle High School in Maumelle, Arkansas attended an assembly hosted by local youth pastor Dante Shelton that addressed avoiding gang violence.
The catch? Only black students were actually required to attend.
Amazingly, the school’s reasoning for this is that it was attempting to promote desegregation. According to KATV, the Pulaski County Special School District (PCSSD) mandated it as a part of the “district's court-ordered desegregation efforts which encourage programs and opportunities tailored to minority students."
That is some heavy irony. Anthony Perkins, a biracial student who was forced to attend the assembly, said it felt completely offensive: “What does that leave kids that are mixed? 'Oh, you know, that's my other side that's calling, let me go learn about gang-banging.' To me it's just wrong on every level.”
Perkins added, quite rightly, that, “This is 2016. All kids should understand and listen to what this reverend had to talk about which was probably all great information, but [not] to only single out the black kids because they're black.”
The fact that this “desegregation effort” was “court-ordered” also does not connote a good history of race relations for this school district.
PCSSD, however, maintained that the assembly was a success. According to KATV, it called the feedback “overwhelmingly positive,” although also said that in the future, it would attempt to include all students in such assemblies.
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