By: Krystle Crossman
Maumelle High School in Arkansas is under fire after a seemingly segregated and targeted assembly that was held recently. After the students entered school there was an announcement for all black freshmen students to report to the gym for an assembly on gang violence. A pastor was in the gym waiting for the students. He was speaking about his experiences with gang violence to the bewildered teens and trying to explain to them that they have a better path to choose and that they did not have to join a gang.
When asked, the students stated that they did not like the fact that they were singled out among their peers. One man who is biracial stated that his sister was a part of this assembly and it made her feel like she didn’t know what to do. Should she stay with the other students in their classrooms or should they join the other students in the gym? He explained that many of the students felt that this was a poor approach by the school and the pastor. He feels that the information that was given by the pastor was probably helpful but should have included all of the kids in the high school and not just the black students. So what did the school have to say about the incident?
A spokesperson for Maumelle High said that the school was a part of a desegregation effort in Pulaski County and this assembly was a part of that program. The program is supposed to offer resources to minority students in an attempt to make them equal to their white counterparts. The assembly was one of those “resources” that was being given to the minority groups. However, if that was the case there were other minorities that should have been brought in as well. Hispanic and Latino people are more likely to join a gang than black people. The school said that being a young black teen is a transitional time in their lives and they are easily influenced which is another reason that they were called into the assembly. Many are not buying it.
The ACLU wrote a letter to the school in response to this assembly and demanded that the school assure them that this would never be an issue again.
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