An Indiana school district is coming under fire after planning an upcoming field trip that would only allow black students to attend, and it has both white and black parents crying foul.
ABC57 reported that a total of seven schools in the South Bend school district are participating in two separate trips to three colleges in the area, but only students who are African-American are allowed to participate in the field trip.
Dr. G. David Moss is the director of the African-American student/parent support department and he said “I want these third graders to have the opportunity to think of themselves as college students.” According to The South Bend Tribune, Moss was formerly a senior consultant with the Office of Student Affairs at the University of Notre Dame.
Parents of different ethnic backgrounds have raised objections to Moss’ plan to exclude students who aren’t black.
Charles Yost, a parent of one of the students, said “We should be able to do everything together and not separate,” and Deirdra Mullings, who has a child participant in one of the field trips, added “I feel like all kids should be going.”
Erika Herron is one parent who agrees with what Moss is trying to accomplish, by excluding students. Herron said “I don’t think it’s a race issue. I think they’re giving black children a chance.”
“It was not meant to be exclusionary. It was only meant to support and give these kids what they need to think positively about themselves and about their future,” said Moss.
I was hired to look at the issues facing African-American kids in the South Bend Community Schools Corporation and my job specifically says that I need to develop programs and develop strategies to help these kids and their families become more successful academically.
Some students embarked on the trip Thursday, while others will be going Monday.
I can’t help but wonder how people would be acting differently if it were a ‘whites only’ field trip and black students were disallowed from participating. The ACLU and NAACP would have a field day, no doubt about it.
This double-standard that allows the segregation based on situation is what promotes racial divide and it’s the very thing that Martin Luther King, Jr., campaigned against. There is no such thing as “separate but equal”.
The superintendent for South Bend Schools says everyone will be included in future field trips. The decision came after parents complained about field trips for third graders that were only for African American students.
The trips were part of the “Mindset Initiative,” designed to motivate black third grade students to go to college.
The trips were set up by Dr. G. David Moss, the Director for African-American Student/Parent Services with the South Bend Community Schools Corporation.
Some parents were upset that the field trips were only for African American students.
Parents took to Facebook to express their frustration. “…sad that this happened in this day in age…especially to 3rd grade students.”
Another one stated: “It’s a great idea to take the students to different college’s to inspire them to go when they graduate high school but inviting only one race or planning for one certain type people is ridiculous.”
Even though no parents attended the School Board meeting Monday night, Superintendent Carol Schmidt commented about changing the field trip program.
Superintendent Schmidt said she is going to work with the Department of African-American studies within the school system to make sure something like this does not happen again.
“To ensure that all students have the opportunity to participate in the future. We also have in place a process of review, so that we can avoid circumstances like this in the future,” said Dr. Schmidt.