HOUSTON, Texas – A “unity rally” at a Houston area school has become a racial controversy because only black students have been invited. Klein Oak High School has planned to host the meeting.
The local ABC affiliate in Houston is reporting that the school district has confirmed that only black students have been invited, and only black students will be in attendance.
Local school officials reportedly say that only black students are being allowed to attend because they want the students who attend to “feel comfortable.”
Klein High School, part of the Klein Independent School District, is located in north Houston about 30 miles from downtown.
The notion for the meeting was a partnership between the African American students and the school administrators.
One parent of a black student was reported to say that she is concerned that this action is a new form of segregation. She reportedly was “not happy about the meeting in the least.”
A retired man who has property nearby told Breitbart Texas, “I’m concerned that, for attention, the race care is being played where no problems exist. Klein ISD has managed diversity from over two dozen demographics.” He added, “It seems the media ‘hypers’ aren’t interested in education, as is KISD.” He did not wish to be identified for fear of backlash and asked only to be identified as a concerned KISD taxpayer.
Texas State Representative Debbie Riddle whose district covers much of the school district told Breitbart Texas, “It seems difficult to achieve unity without all parties – unity doesn’t include exclusion.” She asked, “How would a unity meeting with all white kids work? I suspect exclusion is not good for the same reason.”
Responding to an inquiry from ABC-13 in Houston, Klein ISD offered the following prepared statement:
Texas campus principals are charged with improving the academic performance of all students. They specifically must look at improving the performance of all sub-groups as defined by the state of Texas. In studying the test data, the Klein Oak principal found a need to work to close the achievement gaps in three sub-groups: economically disadvantaged students, English Language Learners and African American students.
The school has been hosting a series of small student group meetings within these sub-groups to address their academic needs. These small group meetings led to great open dialogue resulting in a request from the African American students to hold the meeting today.
All African American students were invited to today’s celebration meeting, termed Unity, Understanding the Needs and Interest of Today’s Youth but they were not required to attend. Topics revolved around how they can be successful academically and included motivational speakers followed by open dialogue. The intent of the meeting was to improve the academic performance of the students.
Klein Oak High School’s philosophy is about servicing the students. Other examples of group meetings to meet student needs include holding an orientation for students coming to Klein Oak from other countries. The bottom line is when there is a need, Klein Oak seeks to meet that need. All students at Klein Oak are valued and their opinions are important.
Lana Shadwick is a contributing writer and legal analyst for Breitbart Texas. She has served as an associate judge and prosecutor. Follow her on Twitter @LanaShadwick2