The message seems as clear as the difference between night and day: If you are white you have already gotten all the extra help you need – or, at least, all you are going to get.
CBS Denver reports that an elementary school in Aurora, Colo., sent out a letter to parents on Wednesday, telling them that an after-school tutoring program was off-limits to their children.
The letter, written by Andre Pearson, the principal at Mission Viejo Elementary, said in no uncertain terms that special assistance in school coursework was available only to students of color.
Parents were understandably shocked. One of them, Nicole Cox, told CBS, “I was infuriated. I didn’t understand why they would include or exclude certain groups.” Cox says that her 10-year-old daughter needs tutoring.
Before Cox could complain to the school, Pearson reached out to her directly by phone, but the voicemail he left only seemed to reinforce the notion that the tutoring program was segregated:
This is Andre Pearson. [Afterschool tutoring] is focused for and designed for children of color, but certainly, if we have space for other kids who have needs, we can definitely meet those needs.
Pearson should read the school’s motto, which appears outside the building. It reads: “Mission Viejo Elementary: To inspires every student to think, to achieve, to learn.”
Better still he should read Brown v. Board of Education, the landmark 1954 Supreme Court decision that stated that “separate educational facilities” for black and white students “are inherently unequal” and, therefore, a violation of the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.