The South Bend Community School Corporation, located in Indiana, is under fire after allegations of discrimination surfaced. The claims come after it was found that elementary school field trips to three area colleges included only African-American children. Parents claim that the white students are being discriminated against because they were not allowed to attend. School officials claim that the entire issue is a misunderstanding, stating that African Americans are “less likely to think of college as a real possibility.” Still, parents claim that all children should have been included in order to be fair for all.
WPXI reported that the field trip was not meant to be discriminatory at all, in fact it was meant to be quite the opposite. However, many parents are claiming that the field trips to visit three local colleges should have included students of all races, not just the black students. The field trip is for third graders from seven elementary schools within the district, where traditionally the black students think about college less than other races, resulting in fewer attending college when they grow older. Dr. David Moss, who works with the South Bend Community School Corporation’s programs to increase inclusion, feels that introducing the young black children to college campuses early will plant the seeds of higher education within their minds.
“Take them to a college campus, have them meet with African American students modeling the idea that as a black person, college is a great place.”
Although many parents are complaining about the exclusion of non-black students, Erika Herron feels that it is coercing inclusion by giving the young black children an opportunity to desire inclusion in college in the future.
“I don’t think it’s a race issue, I think they’re giving black children a chance,”
Deirdra Mullings, who has a child going on the field trip, feels that only including black kids is not sending the right message.
“I feel like all kids should be going,”
Dr. Moss told ABC 57 that he stands by his decision to include only African-American children, stating that it is his job to do so.
“I was hired to look at the issues facing African-American kids in the South Bend Community Schools Corporation and my job specifically says that I need to develop programs and develop strategies to help these kids and their families become more successful academically.”
What are your thoughts on the issue?
[Photo Courtesy: WNDU TV]