Parents expressed outrage after a Seattle high school made black students sign a “covenant” to successfully complete high school.
Franklin High School created the “Keepin’ it 100” student convent specifically aimed at their black students, reports KING 5.
The agreement states that all black students will come to school on time and work to finish high school.
Black students made up 27 percent of the student population, according to a report from the 2014-2015 school year.
“I pledge to hold myself accountable to meet the high expectations that my parent(s)/guardian(s) and the Franklin High School staff will hold for me. I pledge to persist and preserve during difficult times,” the covenant reads.
Parents received a similar form for them to sign, but the term “African-American” was not included.
One parent said that her daughter felt that the black students were being singled out.
“She felt like they were being singled out,” Timika Anderson said. “They’re not the only ones at school struggling.”
Neffertiti Thomas, another parent, said that the message was hurtful to black students.
“It felt like these African-American students weren’t good enough, that they didn’t somehow make the mark, that part was hurtful because we all want to send a positive message to our students,” Thomas said to Q13 Fox.
Seattle Public Schools has launched an initiative to close the opportunity gap for all students, especially black ones. In a statement apologizing for the covenant, the school district reiterated their commitment to closing that gap.
“A student covenant was recently created by staff at Franklin High School. After meeting with senior students, Franklin staff discontinued the covenant as it proved to be a distraction from their original intent which is to increase efforts and support for African American students and ensure college readiness,” the school said in a statement.
The district also said they would also create a parent/community advisory group to advise how to ensure that black students are properly prepared for college.
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