An elementary school principal in Colorado is backpedaling after signup sheets sent home indicated an afterschool tutoring program was for children of color only.
The tutoring program at Mission Viejo Elementary in Aurora, Colo. is part of PASS, a district-wide initiative meant to “address the needs that children of color may need,” Cherry Creek School District spokeswoman Tustin Amole told KCNC-TV in Denver.
But the tutoring is open to all students, despite a note to parents sent last week that specified it was for “students of color.” That infuriated parent Nicole Cox, whose 10-year-old daughter is white and needs tutoring. Cox told KCNC she felt her daughter was being left out of the program because of her race.
“I just want every single person to be treated equally,” Cox said.
In a letter to parents this week, Mission Viejo principal Andre Pearson said he wanted to “express my regret” for the earlier communication describing the tutoring program with PASS, which stands for Parents of Academically Successful Students.
“The PASS committee is focused on partnering with the principal to close the racial achievement gap,” Perason wrote. “However the tutoring program is open for all students, regardless of race/ethnicity, and on a first come, first served basis…I am equally concerned about the success of all students who attend our wonderfully diverse school.”
Amole apologized for what the district said was the principal’s mistake.
“We deeply regret that they got that communication,” she said.
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