A private school in New York City is under fire after parents claim that the school announced a new policy that would segregate the children by race.
According to the New York Post, The Little Red School, located in the posh Greenwich Village neighborhood, parents became aware that Director Philip Kassen would place minority middle-school students in the same homerooms come fall after children began to complain about the changes at the school for the upcoming year.
The school, which revealed has been practicing segregation since the beginning of the 2017 school year, claims that parents were made aware of the controversial policy and that it was only applied to students in the seventh and eighth grade, but parents insist that notification wasn’t sent until June after the story broke explaining that the proposed class-placement policy would be reviewed before officials decided to ax it altogether amidst complaints.
“They had a couple meetings with parents and there was a lot of buzz and outrage and yelling,” a unidentified parent told the New York Post. “Everyone was saying, “We don’t think it’s necessary. These kids have been friends since kindergarten and nursery school. They don’t see color so why are you doing this?”
While parents are crying foul, educators and those in the NYC private school sector administration offices claim that the approach is the “lesser of two evils” approach to tackle NYC private school diversity issue.
“The intention is to make students of color feel that they are a critical mass and have a voice,” an unidentified consultant said. “And if that results in clumping kids and creating some all-white classrooms, it’s a trade-off worth making.”
The issue seems to be a well known one amongst the private elite, which according to administrators has seen segregation played out in several schools in the city to a lesser degree for years.
While some are citing it as business as usual, some officials on the school board are calling for a real change at the schools by adding real diversity through scholarship programs and financial aid.
“The problem is, there still isn’t enough diversity in New York City independent schools,” explained one educational consultant who focuses on minority students. “This is just a Band-Aid. You need to advocate for more financial aid and diversity.”