White students at an elementary school in Olympia, Washington, were excluded from a “BIPOC Mentor Group,” an email from the principal reveals.
Olympia’s Centennial Elementary School created the exclusionary “Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC) Mentor Group” according to emails shared with the Jason Rantz Show on KTTH.
In one email, principal Shannon Ritter admits that the “group is limited to students who identify as BIPOC.”
“For these students, this space allows them to hang out, check in and possibly talk about their experiences as a student in the minority,” the email also reads. Additionally, it explains, “We have a fifth grade BIPOC student group that meets weekly during their lunch time.” Our fourth grade BIPOC group is in the early planning stages and will meet twice a month.”
Executive director of communications and community relations for the Olympia School District, Susan Gifford, explained in a statement to Fox News that the groups would ditch their exclusionary approaches, stating, “Groups like this are important for elevating voices and are instrumental in helping our district design a responsive educational experience that meets the needs of all students.”
“At the same time, we recognize that they cannot be exclusionary. Moving forward, we will ensure that school leadership and staff are specific about the purpose of these groups, while simultaneously removing any exclusions to participation,” Gifford went on to say.
Affinity groups, student and parent groups established on the basis of race or sexuality, have been established in public and private schools alike across grade levels. Breitbart News reported that a Michigan State education conference divided “white folx” from “people of color” to “advance racial equity.”
Meanwhile, Breitbart News also reported that the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS), the largest private school accreditor in America, hosted racially segregated discussions about diversity at a conference.
Another investigation from Breitbart News revealed that Kalea Selmon, the former diversity director at a Catholic all-girls school in Maryland, advocated for separating white and non-white students.
In one speech she gave at an NAIS conference, Selmon asserted that “BIPOC spaces are sacred,” before also adding that “it’s necessary for BIPOC students to have space away from white gaze and that it is absolutely okay to give black and brown students things you’re not giving white children because the white children are fine.” She later resigned following the investigation.
Spencer Lindquist is a reporter for Breitbart News. Follow him on Twitter @SpencerLndqst and reach out at email@example.com.