By: Krystle Crossman
Since kindergarten Edmund Lee has been attending the Saint Louis Gateway Science Academy charter school. He is now in third grade and has been a model student. Lee has won numerous academic awards and certificates for his attitude, determination, and achievements. Unfortunately thanks to a law that was put in place in the 1980s and has not yet been taken off of the books, Lee can no longer attend the charter school that he loves. His family is moving to the Pattonville school district. When his family asked if he could still attend the charter school they were given a copy of the guidelines and were horrified at what they saw.
The Gateway Science Academy rules state that if a family moves outside of the school district they can still send their child to the charter school…but only if they do not identify themselves as African-American. The school officials said that they were not able to override the outdated state law, but the teachers at the school are rallying behind Edmund because he has been such an outstanding student. They said that it would be sad to not see his face in the hallways any longer.
Edmund’s mother has started a petition, which now has over 132,000 signatures, in an effort to bring this discriminatory issue to light and try to have the law changed. It was put in place over 30 years ago by the U.S. Court of Appeals. Mrs. Lee does not feel that it is fair that her son has to be taken out of the school where he has found a great amount of success because of a law that should never have been applied in the first place. The reason that the city put this law into place was because they were still trying to keep desegregated schools. However in 1983 a desegregation settlement agreement was put into place and the schools began to allow other races to enroll in schools that previously had been just one race. They wanted to try and balance the schools out.
The Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education released a statement saying that Lee was not denied because of his race. They stated that his new place of residency is the reason that Lee would not be allowed to attend the charter school any longer. They claim that they district that the family is moving to does not participate in the Saint Louis transfer program and even if he was of a different race he still would not be eligible to attend the Gateway Science Academy any longer.
For more information and a step by step guide on how to transition your children and family to homeschooling, visit: TheBlackHomeSchoolGuide.com.