Administrators at Seattle’s Franklin High School caused a furor when they asked their African-American students to sign a pledge called Keepin’ It 100, which would require them to take responsibility for their education, Q13-Fox reports.
By signing the covenant, the Black students promise to arrive to school on time, graduate and prepare for college. They commit to persevering through difficulties and proactively seek help along the way to achieving their academic goals.
Bazia Potts, an African-American senior at Franklin, told the news outlet that she and other Black students got angry and threw the covenant in the trash.
“We were upset because the whole 12th grade class got the paper, but it was supposed to be for us,” she said. “I know I felt embarrassed and my peers felt embarrassed as well.”
Niya Thomas, an African-American junior, said, “Every student counts in the school. I feel like if you gave it to one culture, you should have given it to the others as well.”
Niya’s mother, Neffertiti Thomas, added: “I don’t think they (Black students) read that letter feeling encouraged, uplifted at all. They walked away feeling like I can’t do enough, I still didn’t make it.”
According to Q13 Fox, Seattle Public Schools said in a statement that it is committed to closing the opportunity gap between students of color and their White peers. It discontinued the pledge, which became “a distraction” toward the goal of preparing Black students for college.
School officials also announced the creation of a parent and community advisory committee to advise the school district on how best to achieve its goal of 100 percent college readiness for Black students.
SOURCE: Q13-Fox | PHOTO CREDIT: Getty, Twitter