An all-boys school in Washington, D.C. got some flak despite its purpose of helping minority students boost their academic progress. Some questioned why the DC Public Schools (DCPS) system did not consider opening a similar exclusive school for minority girls.
Ron Brown College Preparatory High School opened its doors to some 100 African American and Latino boys in August 2016. It was part of a tax-funded initiative called "Empowering Males of Color," as per Jezebel.
Historically, African Americans and Latinos are some of the low-performing students in the city. Apart from their unimpressive scores in standardized tests, improving the rate of graduating minority students yearly remains a challenge for the school district.
Even as the public commended and welcomed the establishment of the all-boys school for minorities, the district said it won't open a girl's school. DCPS also said it might consider an all-girls "club" to hold conferences and support groups for female students.
The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) said this was unacceptable. The ACLU accused DCPS of discrimination especially when female minority students also fall behind academically, as per Washington Post.
"DCPS is unlikely to be able to justify the exclusion of girls from any of the sponsored programs," ACLU said in its statement. "DCPS's own data lead to the unavoidable conclusion that the racial achievement gap impacts girls as well as boys of color."
This was not the only controversy involving Washington, D.C.'s young girls. Reports stated the number of missing teenage African American girls have risen to an alarming rate, according to Time. Minority families said the girls' cases also received less attention from authorities and the public through social media.
D.C. Commander Chanel Dickerson belied the reports and said the number of missing girls cases saw a decrease, not an increase. Some of these girls also left their home voluntarily, Dickerson said in a live Facebook statement.
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