Academic Competition or Discrimination?

Photo credit: Corbis

Photo credit: Corbis

We have to admit that this particular situation caused a lot of discussion among the SKA team. It raised some thought provoking questions and responses as to whether undeniably positive results are worth the potentially negative emotional and psychological impact on those students who don’t (or in some cases can’t) rise to the challenge to putting in the work required to improve their academic profile.

LAVERGNE, TN (WSMV) -A policy meant to help struggling students has some families at La Vergne High School raising questions.

During the lunch period, students who are making poor grades are separated from their classmates and forced to eat in a separate location.”Number one, it’s cutting their lunch down,” said parent Paul Morecraft.

Morecraft’s daughter, who has special needs, is in the 10th grade at La Vergne High. He says he’s concerned about students being separated during lunch based on academic standing. “To me, it’s considered separation, because you have your special needs kids and the kids getting the good grades on one side, and the kids getting below an 80 on the other side,” Morecraft said.

Morecraft contacted the Rutherford County School District about his concerns. “I call it a civil rights violation and segregation, no doubt,” Morecraft said. School leaders say La Vergne High has a split lunch period, half academic intervention to help students who may be struggling in a subject and half lunch.

“They are not segregating them in the traditional sense. If the kids’ scores are low in certain areas, they are getting help in that area. If you want to label that segregation, then that’s not the correct way to label it,” said Rutherford County Schools spokesman James Evans.

Read the rest of the details and view the story video here. This is a challenging situation that really opens up the opportunity for important social and educational dialogue. What are your thoughts?

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