An elementary school principal in the Denver suburbs told parents that white children would be excluded from an after-school tutoring initiative.
Andre C. Pearson, the principal at Mission Viejo Elementary in Aurora, Colorado sent letters home to parents informing them that only students of color are eligible for the program, KJCT, the local ABC affiliate, reports.
Some shocked parents have alleged discrimination and segregation, reports CBS Denver.
“I was infuriated,” one parent, Nicole Cox, told CBS Denver. “I didn’t understand why they would include or exclude certain groups.”
“We have come so far in all of these years to show everybody that everyone is equal, that everyone should be treated equally,” Cox added.
Cox is white. She has a 10-year-old daughter at the school, and she wants her daughter to have tutoring.
CBS Denver explains that Principal Pearson left Cox a voicemail before she could complain directly to the school (as other parents already had).
“This is Andre Pearson,” the voicemail said. “It’s focused for and designed for children of color, but certainly, if we have space for other kids who have needs, we can definitely meet those needs.”
The district has since apologized for the error. A spokeswoman for the school district told KJCT that Pearson’s letter was a mistake and that white students can participate in the tutoring program.
“We deeply regret that they got that communication,” the spokeswoman added, according to notes CBS Denver.