A northern California school district is under fire for a photo display of black and Hispanic boys placed in a teacher meeting room with the words, "Keeping our black and brown boys in mind."
A parent complained to KPIX-TV after spotting the photos in a meeting room at Julia Baldwin Elementary in San Jose. The pictures have reportedly been there since the start of the year and are a way to make sure at-risk students don't fall behind by making their names and faces clearly identifiable to staff members, the station reported.
The Oak Grove School District is trying to close the achievement gap between black and Hispanic boys compared to white and Asian boys, and asked its 19 campuses to identify such students in order to boost their performances.
But the parent, who has remained anonymous, called the display's photos of the children insulting "…in such a racist and demeaning manner under the guise of promoting education development."
According to KPIX, teachers at the school held three meetings to try to get the photos and slogan removed but were rebuffed. Parents were reportedly not informed that their children's photos were being used.
Baldwin principal Joyce Milner, who is black, did not respond to KPIX's interview requests.
Oak Grove Superintendent Tony Garcia issued only a statement to the station, which read in part: "We are proud of the fact that we openly discuss race and its impact on student success."