An Inclusive Litany

4/16/02

An Associated Press dispatch from Elk Grove, California, April 16, 2002:
The principal at T.R. Smedberg Middle School held meetings last week for parents to discuss their children's scores on standardized tests. There were four meetings in all, with separate gatherings for whites, Asians, blacks and Hispanics. The principal, who is black, said the segregated meetings were designed to "get real honest answers" from black and Hispanic parents, whose children were among the lowest scorers, and to allow them to speak freely, without embarrassment.

On a related note, Michigan State's commencement exercises will now include its first "Black Celebratory," a separate graduation ceremony for black students. University officials noted that blacks were welcome to attend both ceremonies. Lee June, assistant provost and vice president for student affairs, explained that the separate ceremony was intended "to reinforce, congratulate and give special recognition for the accomplishment they've made, given that they are students of color."

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