Friday, February 19, 2016

ACLU raises questions about Maumelle High School assembly, for black students only, on gang violence

Posted By on Fri, Feb 19, 2016 at 9:32 AM


Maumelle High School
had an assembly Wednesday morning featuring local youth pastor Dante Shelton speaking to students about gang violence and his own story. The strange part, according to a report from KATV's Janelle Lilley: the school singled out only black students to attend the assembly: 

Shortly after arriving at school Wednesday morning, an announcement over the public announcement system instructed black freshmen to go to the auditorium for an assembly. Arron Perkins says his sister was in math class.

"When I talked to her about it, she felt that it was very racist. Someone in the group asked, why are there no other kids except for African-American kids here," said Perkins. ... According to the Pulaski County Special School District it is part of "the district's court-ordered desegregation efforts which encourage programs and opportunities tailored to minority students."

The ACLU sent an email to the school in search of more information and questioning the assembly as a possible violation of student rights.

"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," said Perkins who is biracial.

The Pulaski County Special School District provided a statement to KATV: 

Yesterday, at an assembly during activities period at Maumelle High School, local pastor Dante Shelton was invited to speak to a group of African-American, ninth-grade students. He shared his personal success story and encouraged students to make good choices. Freshmen students were identified by the school because it is a time of transition when they are more easily influenced. Black students were selected with the intent that the assembly would be an extension of the district's court-ordered desegregation efforts, which encourage programs and opportunities tailored to minority students. Students who did not want to attend the program were not required to do so, and the response to Mr. Shelton's presentation was overwhelmingly positive. The Pulaski County Special School District regrets that this inspirational program was not made available to all students and in the future will work to ensure that when outside speakers are brought into a school that all students are included.

The ACLU sent the following letter to the school about the incident: 

click to enlarge aclu.png

Tags: , , , , , ,

Favorite

Speaking of...

Comments (49)

Showing 1-49 of 49

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-49 of 49

Add a comment

More by David Ramsey

Readers also liked…

  • Rep. Nate Bell blasts adoption story before seeing it; 'rehoming' bill introduced

    Response to our story about rehoming and adoption has been overwhelmingly positive, with one exception. Rep. Nate Bell (R-Mena) has informed me that writing this story makes me the predator and Justin Harris the victim. I'm hellbound, apparently.
    • Mar 4, 2015
  • Eureka Springs City Council passes civil rights ordinance, sets stage for potential lawsuit

    The Eureka Springs City Council last night suspended the rules and hurriedly passed a civil rights ordinance that extends anti-discrimination protection to gay people in employment, housing and public accommodations. It sets up a potential legal challenge if the legislature completes passage of a law aimed at preserving legal discrimination against gay people.
    • Feb 10, 2015
  • The shame of Robert E. Lee/MLK Day in Arkansas

    This morning, I was a student ambassador for Philander Smith College and the Social Justice Institute at a House Committee that discussed Rep. Nate Bell’s proposal to divide a Robert E. Lee and Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday.
    • Feb 11, 2015

Most Shared

Most Viewed

Most Recent Comments

Blogroll

 

© 2016 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation