Racism remains alive and well in our nation’s public schools, particularly in dark blue states. A recently released email shows that Centennial Elementary School in Olympia, Washington engaged in blatant segregation by barring white children from a student affinity group that meets during lunchtime.
The authenticity of the email has been confirmed by school officials according to conservative talk show host Jason Rantz.
School Principal Shannon Ritter tells parents in the email ““we have a 5th grade BIPOC student group that meets weekly during their lunch time.” She goes on to mention that the group does not include white children.
Ritter also says that the school is exploring adding an additional student ally club, citing the interest of some students. The message does not specify whether this hypothetical group will exclude white kids as well.
Principal in an elementary school in @OlympiaSchools created a “safe space” race-based club which meets during school. The club is only for BIPOC students and excludes white students. https://t.co/5K3RM7md2c pic.twitter.com/vfSE5UXzHD
— Libs of TikTok (@libsoftiktok) February 6, 2023
There is significant evidence that this group is blatantly illegal, particularly when one considers it was orchestrated by school officials. Here is what Mark Lamb, a Seattle-based attorney, told Rantz:
“The fact that this is occurring in an elementary school makes it even more problematic from a legal perspective. The age of the students, coupled with the principal’s email re: this ‘club,’ makes it apparent that this is not a primarily student-led decision but rather one being generated and defended by the school itself,” said Lamb.
As one can imagine, many school parents have expressed their anger over such blatant racism. One parent shared her perspective with Seattle-based KOMO News:
“My son came home and said that they came into the classes, and they were promoting this and talked it up to the students, but then he found out that since he was white, he wasn’t able to participate,” Centennial Elementary School parent Jessica Juergens told KOMO News. “They have their friends that they want to play with at lunch, and a fourth or fifth grader can’t understand why they can’t play with their friends.”
“I feel like it’s promoting segregation at our schools, and we’ve moved away from that,” she added.
Jurgens also mentioned she fears possible retaliation but still wants the district to end the racist student club.
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