An Arkansas high school is facing criticism for inviting only black freshmen to an anti-gang assembly with a local youth pastor.
The Pulaski County Special School District says Maumelle High School held the program as part of its court-ordered desegregation efforts, which call for “programs and opportunities tailored to minority students,” local station KATV reports.
But, rather than providing additional opportunities for black students, the assembly unfairly singled them out, the ACLU of Arkansas said in a letter to the school.
The district defended the assembly, citing the intent to extend the district’s court-ordered desegregation efforts. “Students who did not want to attend the program were not required to do so. ... The [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.”
A version of this article appeared in the March 09, 2016 edition of Education Week as Anti-Gang Assembly Held For Black Students Only