Florida Elementary School Racially Targets Underperforming Black Students
Bunnell Elementary School in Flagler County, Florida, is being called out for targeting only the low-scoring Black students in an assembly. Parents of the fourth and fifth graders say that the administrators intentionally “divided” the children by race.
Local news outlet WESH reported the incident occurred on Friday, Aug. 18. The Black students, some of whom were not underperforming on tests, were presented with a racially specific PowerPoint. During the presentation, they were given statistics regarding the standardized test performance of African Americans. Where these facts came from, and their accuracy has not been verified.
Parents whose children were unwilling attendees at the assembly said they did not approve of the information shared with the young learners. They were also not made aware that the assembly was happening.
Students were incentivized with fast food for “higher grades,” as an anonymous parent told the news source that the kids were promised to be “rewarded” with McDonald’s or Chick-fil-A if they improved.
However, the offensiveness of the conversation did not end there, as the mother also shared that her daughter received high scores on her assessments despite being told of the consequences of low grades and was not the only high-performing child in the room.
“You left the white children to continue their education, and the Black children had to go out to be talked about the consequences of not being successful,” said one mother. “It became racial for me when they included and boxed all of the Black children together no matter if they were below average, average or above average.”
The interim superintendent at the Florida school, LaShakia Moore, released a statement explaining the school’s intentions but expressed that there was a more considerable way to address the issue.
“While the desire to help this particular subgroup of students is to be commended, how this was done does not meet the expectations we desire among Flagler Schools,” shared Superintendent Moore. “We want our parents and guardians to actively participate in their children’s educational successes. Without informing them of this assembly or of the plans to raise these scores, our parents were not properly engaged.”
The educational leader stated that she will continue investigating the matter and will work alongside the school’s principal to ensure they “affect change” in the appropriate manner that does not alienate certain groups.