"The road to Hell is paved with good intentions," should be etched atop the entryway of the Little Red Schoolhouse (LREI) in Manhattan's West Village after the 97-year-old exclusive private school ended its policy of segregating its older students by race. But the outrage isn't because of the cancellation of the policy... parents are freaking out because they didn't even know it existed until the school announced it was going to expand the program.
According to a lengthy piece in the New York Post, the $45,000-per year school - whose students include the children of David Schwimmer, Christy Turlington Burns, and Sofia Coppola's to name a few - first introduced the program in the 2017-2018 school year for its seventh and eighth-grade students, with no known level of outrage, but the situation got a little more tense with the surfacing of plans to expand the program to the school's sixth grade class and have students of similar ethnicities share the same classroom for 30 percent of the school day.
But why the whole "the road to Hell" line? Well, about that...
Well, it looks like LREI school administration, led by director Phil Kassen, originally sought out to support students of color by segregated them to be with those similar to them, as was told to the Independent.
"In the 2017/18 school year, in an attempt to better support our students of color, we implemented this policy in two grades in a way that placed greater emphasis on race for part of the school day," Kassen told the publication in an emailed statement.
Kassen informed the parents of the policy back on June 12 in an email where he explained that the policy was born from conversations with recent graduates who said the school could "create greater opportunities for connection and support."
In that same email, Kassen pointed to a passage from the school's handbook that states: "Research points to the academic, social, and emotional benefits to being in a classroom with others who share racial, ethnic, linguistic, and/or cultural backgrounds."
However, just eight days later, Kassen sent out another email informing the parents that the school would be nixing the program after receiving feedback from those connected with the school. Despite this, Kassen said that the school would keep "race as a critical, but not primary, determinant."
Who knows what that means.
Without reading any further comment, you probably already know how things have been going for the posh school since the news broke earlier this summer.
In a subsequent article on the ordeal, the New York Post reported that soon after the policy became public, parents started to think twice about sending their kids to LREI with some pulling their children's applications for the fall semester.
The Post spoke with Amanda Uhry, president of Manhattan Private School Advisors, who told the publication that since the policy was announced, she's had seven clients withdraw their children from the selection process.
"When parents saw the article, it soured a lot of people," said Uhry. "We have parents who are Indian, black ... they were like, 'What is this?'"
The students' parents aren't the only ones outraged by the school's policy of segregating students in 2018. As you can imagine, people took to Twitter soon after the announcement to vent and question why this happening in this day and age.
We'll leave you a few of those responses.
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