A Florida middle school apparently has just received word of the 1954 United States Supreme Court decision, Brown v. Topeka Board of Education that held “separate but equal” policies in schools inherently unequal as the school recently revised its decision to allow only black students to go on a school field trip.

White, Hispanic and Asian students were told they would be required to stay behind at school while their black classmates were taken to see a special performance of “Black Violin.”

The musical group is composed of two black, classically trained hip-hop musicians from Florida.

Parents and students were quick to express their displeasure when administrators made a special field trip available to black students only.

“No matter what race, it’s wrong all the way around,” according to parent Steve Moreno.

Heron Creek Middle School, located in Sarasota, County midway between St. Petersburg and Ft. Myers, has a diverse student body that was also unhappy with the administration’s decision to restrict attendance on the field trip.

Black student, Richard Service, is a seventh-grader at the school said, “I think it should be the whole school not just blacks. They said it was for blacks to be motivated to improve their grades.”

“I did think it was kind of racist that Latinos, Chinese couldn’t go,” says Jennifer Bender, another student at the school.

Parent Linda Prince posted a comment on her Facebook page drawing attention to the controversy.

“Be aware of what is happening at Heron Creek Middle School. Yesterday they called an assembly for only African American students to tell them that they could earn a field trip for good behavior. I thought segregation ended a long time ago.”

Heron Creek Middle School principal, Matthew Gruhl, seemingly oblivious to the impact the inequitable treatment of non-black students was having on his students, released the following statement.

“We care about every child on this campus. We celebrate diversity all the time. We didn’t mean to send a negative message. We wanted to be positive.”

Principal Gruhl revised the policy, which will now allow all students to go on the field trip to the hip-hop performance, but he claimed the revision of the policy for attendance on the field trip was not changed because of the unfavorable reaction by students and parents.

“We learned there’s a demand for all our students to have an opportunity to see this great performance,” he said. “We’re sorry if we hurt anyone’s feelings.”




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