Black Only elementary school field trip causes a stir

Black students, who were already segregated by Dicken Elementary School employees into a club called the “African-American Lunch Bunch,” were taken on a field trip to hear a talk by an African-American rocket scientist. The club and trip are part of a well meaning, but badly misguided, attempt by Principal Mike Madison and other school officials to help black students who are lagging academically.

After the trip was over, those who went returned to their fifth-grade class and were greeted by boos by those who didn’t go on the trip, according to the school district spokeswoman, Liz Margolis. Margolis said Madison heard the boos, and went to talk to the class.

What happened next is disputed: Margolis claims that Madison had a “discussion” about race issues with the class, but several parents and students claim that Madison yelled at the students and belittled a Muslim girl who said she also had experienced racism and discrimination.

After several days of protest by parents, Principal Madison wrote a letter defending his actions:

“The intent of our field trip was not to segregate or exclude students as has been reported, but rather to address the societal issues, roadblocks and challenges that our African American children will face as they pursue a successful academic education here in our community.”

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