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May 12th, 2010
08:41 AM ET

Segregated Field Trip?

Should eligibility for a school field trip be determined by a student’s race? Seems like that happened at an Ann Arbor, Michigan school. About 30 African-American elementary students went to visit an African-American engineering professor at the University of Michigan. Their white counterparts did not go. Teachers and administrators said it was a motivational trip to help bridge the gap between black and white test scores. The Michigan Attorney General’s office said the field trip appears to violate the state constitution. In 2006, voters approved a ban on affirmative action programs that give preferential treatment to groups or individuals based on race, gender, color, ethnicity or national origin for public employment, education or contracting purposes. So far, no complaints have been filed with the attorney general’s office.

A spokeswoman for the district said it doesn't believe any laws were broken but is looking into it. School officials also plan to discuss the field trip Thursday at a parent-teacher organization meeting.

What do you think? Is this an unfair field trip or justified lesson?

Post your comments here. Kyra will read some of them on the air in the 10am ET hour of Newsroom.


Filed under: CNN Newsroom • Kyra Phillips
soundoff (151 Responses)
  1. Ryan Wilson

    The tragedy of the perhaps well-intentioned segregated field trip is that it promotes racism by discluding groups based on their race.

    It seems to suggest that more diversity is needed within the leadership of Michigan schools.

    May 12, 2010 at 8:56 am |
  2. Jack

    Typical of the society we live in today. Two questions:

    – Why isn't anyone asking why the black kids are lagging behind the others so far, and

    – Could you imagine the outrage if the roles (and skin colors) were reversed.

    I'm not condoning the "booing", but there are bigger societal issues at play here.

    May 12, 2010 at 8:57 am |
  3. Michele

    I think this was a missed educational opportunity for the students who did not go on the field trip. Rather than missed opportunity...I believe denied opportunity would be more appropriate.....I am sure this Professor had a great deal of knowledge and inspiration that was not race biased....but rather encouraging to young minds of all races and genders.

    May 12, 2010 at 8:57 am |
  4. Chas in MI

    It was a racist act plain and simple. If the races had been reversed there would be picketing at the Governor's Mansion right now.

    When are people going to learn that if we try to say that only certain races represent diveristy, ANY diversity program is racist.

    May 12, 2010 at 8:57 am |
  5. Barb Pruett

    I think the field trip was wrong to have just black kids. What would have happened if there was a field trip for only white kids. I am sure that Al Sharpton would have been at that school the next day.

    May 12, 2010 at 8:57 am |
  6. Jim

    I doesn't bother me the way it was handled but if it was the other way around what would Rev. Al have to say ??????

    May 12, 2010 at 8:58 am |
  7. Scott

    Kyra, Can you imagine the outrage among the black community if the field trip had only been for white kids? Al Sharpton would be protesting in front of the school today!

    May 12, 2010 at 8:58 am |
  8. R Burke

    If it had been the other way around, the NAACP would have had a field day with it, saying that the teachers at the elemetary were racist and should be fired.

    May 12, 2010 at 8:58 am |
  9. Jenny

    I would not be happy if my children were excluded from a field trip for their race. I understand the lesson in the field trip but why would it make any difference if the white kids went?

    We have all been discriminated against for one reason or another. I think everyone could benefit from learning about someone who overcame discrimination.

    White children should also learn about disrimination and its horrible effects.

    Reinforcing our differences with segregation is a bad idea. A little more thought was needed in this situation.

    May 12, 2010 at 8:58 am |
  10. Paul Donelson

    I live in a small town in the thumb of Michigan where there are very few ethnic groups other than white. I would certainly do the children in this town a lot of good to meet a Black rocket scientist. Many of the people living here do not even believe a Black person has a soul, let alone a brain. They think the only reason Obama became president was because he had some white blood in him.

    May 12, 2010 at 8:59 am |
  11. Jim Stallone

    I think it's reverse discrimination, if it were reversed we'd be hearing all kinds of outcries about discrimination. Also, I'm concerned that CNN didn't report the counter side in this story. CNN only spoke to people that supported the field trip. In my opinion the reporting of this story hurt race relations.

    May 12, 2010 at 8:59 am |
  12. Matt

    Segregation in all forms is unacceptable. It was wrong in the 50s and remains wrong today. You and I both know that if the situation was reversed and it was a white-only trip, that principal would have shot to the very top of Rick's bad list.

    May 12, 2010 at 8:59 am |
  13. Jaynie Lewis

    I believe that it was a Justified Lesson, let's face it African American Students have been left out of the educational scene for so long that they needed the attention from the African American Engineer. Why can't people understand that the private moment was neccessary in order to relate to his success from an African American Perspective. Each white parent is responsible for relaying the message.

    May 12, 2010 at 9:00 am |
  14. Steve

    I think it is unfair to exclude the other kids from the trip. Yes it was made to inspire the African american students, but the schools should be trying to inspire all students. If it is a lesson and inspiration that can be taught, shouldn't that be a priority for every student not just a select few? It baffles me how this principle overlooked this.

    May 12, 2010 at 9:00 am |
  15. Dan

    Kyra,
    Lets look at the reverse. If the black kids were excluded there would be a national scandal with every civil rights activist organization filing law suits.
    As long as you exclude any race or ethic group you are promoting racism.
    And you don't need a rocket scientist to realize that.
    Dan

    May 12, 2010 at 9:00 am |
  16. Jack

    Typical of the society we live in today. Two questions:

    – Why isn't anyone asking why the black kids are lagging behind the others so far?

    and

    – Could you imagine the outrage if the roles (and skin colors) were reversed.

    I'm not condoning the "booing", but there are bigger societal issues at play here.

    May 12, 2010 at 9:00 am |
  17. Thomas

    This is reversed discrimination. We did away with afffirmative action. This man should lose his job.

    May 12, 2010 at 9:00 am |
  18. Michelle

    I understand the motive behind why the children were taken to hear the engineer but imagine how black parents would have felt if their children were left behind while white kids went to hear someone speak to give them encouragement. It would have been an outrage. Yes I'm pretty sure everyone is taking the incident overboard but when can we move past segregation and teach our children to just be the best human being that they can and not the best white or black kid. Why not bring the engineer to the school for everyone to get encouragement and motivation.

    May 12, 2010 at 9:00 am |
  19. Fico

    Everybody should have been included in that trip.
    Racism is prevalent and alive in our country. State of Arizona just banned Ethnic Studies. The governor of Arizona Jan Brewer signed the bill late tuesday. Was that a news item in CNN?

    May 12, 2010 at 9:00 am |
  20. Paul Donelson

    I live in a small town in the thumb of Michigan where there are very few ethnic groups other than white. It would certainly do the children in this town a lot of good to meet a Black rocket scientist. Many of the people living here do not even believe a Black person has a soul, let alone a brain. They think the only reason Obama became president was because he had some white blood in him.

    May 12, 2010 at 9:00 am |
  21. Alice Head

    I feel that segregating any Field Trip is wrong. You can always find justification for your opinion on this but, I feel that it is just as important for white children to see good black role models as it is for black children. Some white children are taught at home that all black people are lazy, on welfare and responsible for most violent crimes therefore; it is important for some white children to see that this is not true. A lesson should be learned here that segregation of ANY kind is wrong.

    May 12, 2010 at 9:01 am |
  22. Roy

    People would have been up in arms if the field trip had excluded African-American students. Why should it be any more acceptable to exclude white students?

    May 12, 2010 at 9:01 am |
  23. Katrina

    Hi Kyra,

    A segregated fieldtrip, in this day and age? How could this principal NOT know that this would be a problem? I'm not surprised that some parents, students, and the community as a whole is upset about this. You can't single students out based on race, and give them a reward (such as a field trip) that other students don't get, because they're not black!!! How ridiculous is that? If this principal had scheduled an all white field trip, simply because the scientist was white, could you imagine the fallout?

    Thanks,

    Katrina

    May 12, 2010 at 9:01 am |
  24. JAGlover

    I don't think any students should be excluded from a trip based on race. However, I don't think the children were "booing" the returning students based on race, just the fact that those who couldn't go had to stay in normal classes for the day. Field trips should be both educational as well as an incentive to continue with scholastic achievement, so my fear is that students will see this and think that lower performance will lead to more field trips.

    May 12, 2010 at 9:01 am |
  25. Jeremy D

    from Michigan.

    I think it's racist. Since when are the rules different for non-black kids? Schools should be color blind. Special treatment or negative treatment encourages those children to be aware of race.

    May 12, 2010 at 9:01 am |
  26. Amara Ortiz

    I wonder if it would've been all the other way around, that only the white kids went to the field trip, if this situation would've made it into national news.

    May 12, 2010 at 9:01 am |
  27. Rob Harvie

    Well. I think quite clearly that if only white children were permitted to attend a field trip to see a white rocket scientist, because, allegedly,the lesson only applied to them, this story would be seen in a somewhat different light.

    And the argument that black children need the added motivation is completely outrageous, because at it's core, it's a loud and clear announcement to black and white children that the black children aren't doing as well, and that they are somehow "less than" and so they need special help.

    The message on the school ground I'm sure was much more profound than the lesson on the field trip – which is sad, I'm sure, for those black children who didn't ask nor need "special" attention.

    May 12, 2010 at 9:01 am |
  28. Chuck d

    To paraphrase chief justice Roberts , the only way to finally end racism is to stop being racist.

    May 12, 2010 at 9:01 am |
  29. Matthew Dodd (Lake Charles, LA)

    Teaching white kids that they have nothing to learn from successful African Americans...priceless.

    May 12, 2010 at 9:01 am |
  30. Dawn

    As a black woman, I feel that this segregated trip was unfair. While I applaud the principals' effort to bridge the gap between the test scores of black and white students, I feel that all students should have had the opportunity to meet the professor. If the tables were turned, we as blacks would have been outraged. Not sure what it will take to increase our test scores, but segregation and isolation are not the answers!

    May 12, 2010 at 9:02 am |
  31. Jeff in Michigan

    It is rediculous in this day and age that a public school would willfully segregate. This reminds me of the 5 children recently asked to leave school for wearing American flag style clothing. Something is wrong with our educational system when certain students are not respected as individuals but grouped into categories.

    May 12, 2010 at 9:02 am |
  32. Latorre

    First for an educator and more importantly a principal to propose a segregated trip is backward and possible a violation of thats states rules. Why would you suppose that any child would not benefit from meeting a rocket scientist, and while one could understand that children of race need to see positive role models in thier own race, teaching children that we can exclude other children based on race is a bad president to set in yound minds.

    May 12, 2010 at 9:02 am |
  33. Jerold Ringer

    After years of lobbying fof desegregation.Thie.principal(an educater)is teaching segregationto the most impressional segment of our population.If it was reversed, lawsuits would have aiready been filed.

    May 12, 2010 at 9:02 am |
  34. Karl Allen

    The field trip was unfair. To exclude any child from the opportunity to learn is wrong. I am a African American male and feel that the principal did miss a opportunity to show that racism has no place in America.
    What should have been a learning experience for all turned into a learning experience for no one. What were the kids taught who went on the field trip? The kids who didnt go, what were they taught? In my opinion the field trip was a waste of tax payers money.

    May 12, 2010 at 9:02 am |
  35. Marty Lonsdale

    Seems to me to be a clear case of racial segregation. I'm thinking that if the opposite situation was the case, namely, non-blacks going on the field trip and all the blacks left behind, there would be a lot more uproar. Rev. Al Sharpton and Jessie Jackson would be ranting and raving!
    Marty Lonsdale

    May 12, 2010 at 9:02 am |
  36. Jim

    I understand completely why the African-American kids would need a field trip like this. But the white kids need it, too. While they've improved a bit, media images of African-Americans are still heavily skewed toward criminals or clowns. I say that all the kids in the school would have benefited from this trip.

    May 12, 2010 at 9:03 am |
  37. Joe Swasey

    Yes I believe this is a unfair field trip and there will be a lesson to be learned. All the children should have been able to participate.

    May 12, 2010 at 9:03 am |
  38. reba2268

    If it would have been the white students going excluding the black students... what kind of outrage would we have?

    May 12, 2010 at 9:03 am |
  39. typee

    Yes, there is still racism out there, as much from blacks as from whites Had this been reversed....well, you would have seen Rev. Al on the scene. There are also those who have still not learned the lessons very well–this principal for one. He should be reprimanded for his poor judgment and the parents should not "make nice" about it. Treat the guy just the way you would a white person.

    May 12, 2010 at 9:03 am |
  40. Rachel

    The decision not to allow white children to be included on the field trip is racism, plain and simple. If the tables were turned, and only white children allowed to attend, we all know that this story would be in the national headlines. Bridging a gap between test scores? I'm sorry, what about the social gap this trip made between black and white students? Is it just me, or doesn't it seem that racism could possibly be instilled in those children after witnessing first hand that the color of your skin could be the only determining factor of certain situations?

    May 12, 2010 at 9:03 am |
  41. Andrea

    Why does everthing always be about black or white I'm native American and I'm tyred of people treating us like crap it's not just about black white why don't you talk about how white people treat the native Americans once again the media focus on one thing

    May 12, 2010 at 9:03 am |
  42. Matthew & Julie Adams

    Kyra

    Seriously, an educator goes out of his way to do right by some children and he is chastised for it. Really?! We have some many problems in our education system that this is breaking news. Leave the educator alone. He did a good thing which may have changed the life of a child and in the end isn't what OUR education system is ALL About!!!!!

    May 12, 2010 at 9:03 am |
  43. Alice Head

    Segregation of any Field Trip is wrong!! It is just as important for white children to see good black role models as it is for black children. Some white children are taught at home that all black people are lazy, on welfare and commit most of the violent crimes. It is important for these children to see that this is not true and that there are GREAT black role models in our country. You can try to justify this all you want but, segregation of ANY kind is wrong.

    May 12, 2010 at 9:04 am |
  44. Mike Smith

    I am an Arizonan. For three weeks I have heard how people in this state are a bunch of racial profilers and can't wait to start abusing not only illegal aliens, but apparently anyone based on their skin color. Disregard that 1070 prohibits racial profiling. It is nice to hear that the more enlightened citizens of Ann Arbor conisder the color of your skin when deciding who goes on a field trip. Perhaps all the other states in the Union should boycott Ann Arbor. The President should definitely weigh in and call that field trip "misguided".

    May 12, 2010 at 9:04 am |
  45. Teo

    If the situation were the other way around and principal made a trip for only white students, the story would be all over the news, and the principal would be marked as a racist, and maybe even suspended.

    May 12, 2010 at 9:04 am |
  46. Susan

    I'm white (and a mom) and I've never had the chance to meet a rocket sciencetist, black or white in race. The whole idea seems black and white to me...it would be the coolest thing ever as a child to meet a rocket sciencetist, so why not take all the children? Seems like any good role model is importart reguardless of race.

    May 12, 2010 at 9:05 am |
  47. RC in RI

    WOW!!! How would this be unfolding if no black childred were allowed to go?I'm sure it wouldn't have taken two weeks to unfold, and I am positive that the principle and other members of the school dept. who organized this trip would be out of work by now. Educators who can not figure out somthing so simple as civil rights and common sense should not be allowed to continue teaching our children. If your not smart egnough to reasonably make simple sound decisions,your not smart egnough to teach our children!!

    May 12, 2010 at 9:05 am |
  48. Reginald Henderson

    As a 31 year old black male I feel that this is absurd because we are a nation of equality and should treat everyone with equal rights. Blacks shouldn't be given any special treatment just because they're black. Now what's really wild is that if the color was turned around to all white students going on a field trip there'd be protest, marches, and Al Sharpton leading the pack. I think it's nuts that we don't see the same when it's a different color. I'm just saying...

    May 12, 2010 at 9:06 am |
  49. Brandy Romero

    I really dont know were to start I feel like this is 40+yrs ago and its not and thepeople in the school that let this go on should not be working there at all.what would they think would happen if they took just white kids on a field trip everyone would be saying it wrong and how could they which is wrong but they think taking black kids only on a field trip would be ok come on. If the principal can not tell the differance between right and wrong why are they handleing our kids.For the people who spoke out on the problem on the report are you for real its no big deal we are teaching kids and who would want to teach trhem this its like pioson to there minds.What a sad time for our country to know that still exsists but more sad its now in schools.

    May 12, 2010 at 9:06 am |
  50. shirley

    I am in total support of this school administration by not allowing these white students the opportunity to take part in the field trip. I believe that this is a very justified lesson and I support the school decision.

    If the roles had been reversed, we would not be hearing about this in the news and black students have been targeted far too frequently. Come on people, get over it. Justice was served in this instance.

    I am a white mother and if my child was one of these students making racial slurs against the black students, I would insist that they not attend this field trip. All I can say is "good for this school" who have made a very wise decision.

    May 12, 2010 at 9:06 am |
  51. Casey

    No, there is nothing fair about this situation. We can all learn something from each other, regardless of color. You never know, there may have been a rocket scientist in that group kids that didn't get to go. I hope in the future all kids are able to go on field trips, no matter who they're going to see.

    May 12, 2010 at 9:06 am |
  52. Beth

    Of course it was racism. Children were excluded due to their color. Children should be encouraged to follow their dreams without color being a factor. In this day, everyone has opportunities and this should be encouraged.
    Also, the principal should be reprimanded for raising his voice to the children... he acted completely unprofessional. This behavior should not be tolerated.

    May 12, 2010 at 9:06 am |
  53. Justin

    The merits of ANY field trip should be shared by students of ALL races, creeds and cultures. In this case, I think it is especially necessary that all students learn to appreciate the fact that all races can contribute to the betterment of our society and that role models come in all shapes, sizes and colors. The real question is: Who's idea was it to keep the white students AWAY from the field trip and why was this OK at the time that it occurred? Answer those questions and you will have the answer to what is wrong with the our country today.

    May 12, 2010 at 9:06 am |
  54. Rick

    What's wrong? The white people who were interviewed all agreed with the outing. Had this been reversed the NAACP, Al Sharpton, the Civil Liberties Union, Ect.. would have been all over the school districts back. I noticed that your interviewing vetted out the opposing view.

    May 12, 2010 at 9:06 am |
  55. Clark

    African American, as well as white adults, continue to to drive wedges of racism into our kids lives. These adults need to grow up and act with maturity and not carry on the hatred of their parents.

    May 12, 2010 at 9:06 am |
  56. Mike

    Are you serious?? This was without a doubt wrong!! Principal Madison should have thought to himself how he would feel if black kids were excluded from a field trip such as this or any school function for that matter. White or black, any segregation in a public school system is just wrong!!! No matter what kind of reputation Madison had prior to this, he should be dealt with accordingly for the very bad decision he has made.

    May 12, 2010 at 9:07 am |
  57. ROSEMARY C

    about the segregated field trip. i think that was terrible. last summer there was a widely publicised case about the black kids who were not allowed at the private swimming pool in pennsylvania. there was quite an uproar jesse james al sharpton, a movie star came to their aid and a law suit was settled with the swim club.
    I want to know who is going to come to the forefront of the kids in michigan. will jesse james, al sharpton, and a movie star come out. will the rocket scientist have these kids come to hear him.

    May 12, 2010 at 9:07 am |
  58. Daniel

    Unfair? Life's unfair. Justified? Can you justify segregation? I think not. Its not "bad" when blacks do it, only when whites are involve Thank you NAACP. You can thank the federal government too. Every form and application we fill out segregates us, asking us to choose a race. Here's an idea, if your born in America your an American. Quit hyphenating your nationality. You don't hear me complaining that there's no irish-german-american box for me to check. Or, maybe I should complain.

    May 12, 2010 at 9:07 am |
  59. Tony Santivasci

    There is no question that if reversed, Rev. Jesse Jackson, Rev. Al Sharpton or some legal beagle from NAACP would have made held numerous ralley's/media events, with soon to follow lawsuits. Not one supportive peep from these folks clearly speaks volumes as if to ask "whats the fuss?" what do you mean, reverse discrimination?

    May 12, 2010 at 9:08 am |
  60. aliks mcmapp

    I don't believe students should be separated when it comes to school field trips. I imagine every child can benefit from meeting the professor at the University of Michigan.

    May 12, 2010 at 9:08 am |
  61. MIke in Texas

    It was wrong not to include all students in the field trip. I was appalled by Kyra saying "That white kids need black role models, why cause lets face it there is still racism in this country" and and went on to name some examples. Why am i offended by that, well RACISM is a two way multi-lane highway, it is not a one way street populated by one model of car. reverse this issue and the result would be way different. BTW racism by it's very definition can't be,as we are all one race HUMAN !

    May 12, 2010 at 9:09 am |
  62. Michele

    If this field trip was for white students only, nobody would be saying that the reactions were "blown out of proportion." Clearly there is a double standard in this country – anything that minorities do that is exclusionary is not considered racism, there is always a "justifiable excuse." However, if whites did the same, they would be blasted as racists. You can dress up a pig, but racism is still racism, regardless of which ethnic group is separating themselves.

    May 12, 2010 at 9:09 am |
  63. Christine

    How would CNN be reporting this if black students had been excluded? What's the difference if someone is excluded because of race, no matter what their race is? Its all bigotry.

    May 12, 2010 at 9:11 am |
  64. Lori

    This was preferential treatment for one group of students. What does it matter that the rocket scientist was black - why could he not be a role model to ALL of the students - black or white. By splitting these kids along racial lines, this school has promoted a widening of a divide real or imagined - the children left out obviously felt it in a raw way - and the children returning have now been booed by their peers - no one wins here. This is the most outrageous decision by an educator that I've heard of in ages. Would it not have made more sense to have the scientist come to the school and to motivate ALL of the children?

    May 12, 2010 at 9:11 am |
  65. Bob Albanese

    When will "power to the people" be inclusive of all the people? Martin Luther King was enlightened enough to be inclusive of all the people. Yet predjudice is still very often only attributed to white versus black. It happens in every direction. Simply put, two wrongs don't make a right.

    May 12, 2010 at 9:11 am |
  66. blackorwhite

    If this was flipped and this was done for white students where would alsharpton be? Test results start at home. To assume blacks need different things than whites to exceed is racist. We have plenty of successful blacks, so this leads us to parenting. If parents put in crap they cannot expect to get gold out of them. I harp on international competition to my kids. I also explain without landing in a great college the odds of success shrink. My kids are focused. I feel the black community is out of control right now. We need some good lawyers to attack. How about the NBA? Is affirmative action at work there?

    May 12, 2010 at 9:12 am |
  67. John F. Kopp

    Had this been the other way around there would have been week after week of ranting and raving and lawsuits and demands for officials to resign and apologies etc. from such loud mouths like Jesse Jackson, and his brood of bigots. But, no, it is always OK to be biased against Caucasians. Talk about a miscarriage of justice.

    May 12, 2010 at 9:13 am |
  68. Tanaka

    At the rate we're going, this rage and anger is going to erode the very foundation of mutual respect we as parents should be instilling in our children, preparing them for adulthood. This comes down to kids and parents being to focused on their own benefit, rather than the future of the students falling behind.
    As a "Christian", what ever happened to lifting up each other and trying for even one minute...lifting up someone that has fallen down. In this instance, the parents of the white children could have used this as a teachable moment, not a potential for monetary gain.

    May 12, 2010 at 9:13 am |
  69. Mike

    All I can say is WOW!! Boy if the table was turned and only white kids were allowed to do anything, Jesse Jackson and Al sharpton would be all over it. Calling white people racists and filing lawsuits against the school, principal, the city, etc etc. It would totally dominate every newscast in every city in every country. But since the principal of the school said" I sorry", who by chance is african american, everything is ok and nothing will be done about this injustice. I thought we were supposed to be equals...guess not!

    May 12, 2010 at 9:13 am |
  70. Elliot Gordon

    It would have been great if it was a lesson on segregation. Tying the trip to segregation would have been a fantastic way for the white and black students to experience exclusion. Handling it as a lesson in role models failed because the parents' and other adults' took over by voicing their subjective views confusing the students and erasing any possible good.

    May 12, 2010 at 9:13 am |
  71. shirley

    I agree with the schools decision. If my white children had been one of these students not allowed to go due to racial comments, I would insist that they be held back. My hats off to the school !!!

    May 12, 2010 at 9:13 am |
  72. Chaney. La.

    While the segregated field trip may have been well intentioned,and without knowing all the details, such as expense!!! if all children were included it is an opportunity to teach tolerance and understanding of others life situations. I find where I live many whites dont have a clue about black/hispanic/asians and the problems they face as minorities..... unfortunate.

    May 12, 2010 at 9:16 am |
  73. Cathy Mc

    I do not think the trip should be a topic of discussion. White children have role models each and every day, the media makes sure of that. Black children need positive influences in their lives and this was a chance for them to have just that, positive influence. Whites who object should stop their whining. White privilege is institutionalized and is prevalent in everyday life. Come on now, a school Field trip it was more meaningful to black kids. Whites have role models every day, also remember last year when black children were barred from the White pool, that incident was not even educational. If you do not want segregated practices, practice what you preach

    May 12, 2010 at 9:16 am |
  74. Mara

    I agree with Kyra, Schools should include ALL students on Field Trips to learn that role models comes in ALL Nationalties! It's time for racist people to learn that!! However, Blacks have been excluded (and still even now) from things as such, you don't fight fire with fire and be IGNORANT because of others.

    May 12, 2010 at 9:16 am |
  75. Mike

    If the Black children are better served by segregateing them maybe they should get their own school entirely.?

    May 12, 2010 at 9:16 am |
  76. Will Mac

    Absolutely, without a doubt, the trip was unfair and a monumentally poor decision by the school's administration.

    When dealing with young minds and emotions, particular care should be taken with regard to social equality. Schooling presents challenges to developing students both academically and socially. For a school's academic attempt be at the expense of what is socially and morally acceptable is lunacy.

    The trip itself was a fantastic idea, one meant to enrich and inspire. By it's poor application though, the very minds meant to enlighten are now faced with confusion. A school, charged with creating the best possible environment for learning, should never be the fascilitator of separatism.

    Sadly, similar lessons may indeed be learned through the course of one's life but as for a school's lesson plan, segregation should simply be left out of the curriculum.

    May 12, 2010 at 9:17 am |
  77. Cylla

    How can any racial group that separates itself, and only includes those persons who look like said race into its activities claim to be generating anything but racist segregation?
    To address the effects of past racist issues by adopting those same basic racist principles seems completely hypocritical to me, and further, what does it teach our youth about inclusion?

    May 12, 2010 at 9:18 am |
  78. Susan Ryan

    Its racist to attack a handful of black kids for going to meet a black scientist and turn your back on thousands of black students that have unequal segregated education. Its hypocrisy to claim you care about equality or despise segregation yet remain silent about Robert Bobb shrinking the Detroit public school system to a size too small to meet the needs of Detroit families. I support a tricounty school system Macomb, Oakland and Wayne. I support real integration and equality. Its embarassing for folks to talk about segregation in regards to a handful of black kids getting a couple of field trips while so many Michigan students linger in real segregated inequality.

    May 12, 2010 at 9:18 am |
  79. Sam

    So because of a bunch of white students who didn't go on a field trip, and booed the kids who did , the Principal got in trouble ,for not take students who grades where not suffering , so what happen to the students who booed

    May 12, 2010 at 9:20 am |
  80. Mr. Loise J. & Ms. Phyllis A. Gwyn

    We believe if this situation had been reversed there would have been rioting in the streets school busses turned over and the schools burned down. The teachers and administrators would have had to step down at the very minimum, and probably not allowed to teach at any school in America.

    Michigan state officials will probably do nothing about these teachers, and the administrators except to praise and promote them.

    May 12, 2010 at 9:21 am |
  81. ijarah

    Let's look at it if us "white" people would have tried something like this.i feel it was totally wrong and uncalled for! We try to teach our children to be accepting of all different races and so on... Schools should be focusing on bringing kids together in every sitution, not dividing them. I am a parent of white children who would have been left out of this so called field trip, i would have been very upset and they would have lost my children attending their school. I am very outraged! They do not desever or should be trusted to lead and teach our future generation of adults that will be leading this country. Kids are our future!
    concered parent,
    ijarah

    May 12, 2010 at 9:21 am |
  82. SCollins

    First, I resent the premise of the field trip. The notion that all white kids at this school get it and all black kids at this school don't get it perpetuates the myth that white is superior to black.

    Secondly, the divide between black and white test scores will not be solved with field trips, but will be solved by bringing principal, teacher and parents together and make sure everyone knows what their responsibility is.

    Lastly, field trips should be for all students. Segregated field trips will lead to segregation of the students and I don't think that is the intent of the school.

    May 12, 2010 at 9:21 am |
  83. Jim Stallone

    Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson could do a lot to repair race relations if they came out and denounced the discrimination aimed at excluding the "white students". But that's not in their political interest. They benefit by exasperating this issue.

    May 12, 2010 at 9:21 am |
  84. Ryan Wilson

    If we provide equal rights as a society and later find that one group fails to meet the level of excellence that other groups have, we should explore WHY. NOT segregate or reverse all the progress seen thus far in the race arena.

    May 12, 2010 at 9:25 am |
  85. Debbie P

    I don't feel that this was a justified lesson, there are many different races that attend our Michigan Schools who may fall below on test scores it's not just black children, I am so sick of hearing this as an excuse, My grandchildren attend Michigan public schools and they are all taught the same things in school by the same Classroom Teachers If any child is fallen behind it needs to be addressed, but not by discrimination or breaking any laws against any other child because of his race. Like I said before this is discrimination, had it been an all white field trip, that's what it would have been called!

    May 12, 2010 at 9:26 am |
  86. Gtudda

    though the acions dont translate well, the intent of the field trip was on point. Here we go again with Michigan and their racial politics. This is 1 state that NEEDS affirmative action. People seem to not realize how special treatment is constantly given to whites under the guise of other factors ( legacy, where they live, etc.) which is affirmative action in its own right. . . .

    May 12, 2010 at 9:27 am |
  87. Carlos Santos

    This is yet another example of racial double standards in the U.S.A. Had this been a whites only field trip it would've been met with cries for the school principal resignation, marches, and protests led by people like Al Sharpton. Lets face it, the society group that most complains about racism is the one that day in and out dips itself in segregated activities, call each other using the "N" word, and then dares others to say something about it. It is time to call it as you see it. The majority of the time you hear about racism is the African-American community misinterpreting the point of views of others, but they do things like this field trip, knowing that nobody will dare to say anything because if you do, you will be tarred and feathered as a racist. Ridiculous!!!

    May 12, 2010 at 9:28 am |
  88. Tim

    This obviously wasn't thought through. These children work together in school and they will work together in the real world. Interacting with people of different races and ethnic backgrounds can only help all of these kids. I hope the principal,who sounds like one of the good guys, is able to fix this before it goes into the total stupid zone. In our society it is almost impossible to not interact on some level with all the other people in our society sooner or later. I live in the tri-state area and on a trip to the grocery store I incounter moslems, orthodox jews and about every other group you can think of.

    May 12, 2010 at 9:28 am |
  89. Anita from CA

    This is an outrage. It is part of our Educators responsibility to build tolerance and educate "our children" about our differences. No wonder "racial tensions" are higher than ever in our country. A "field trip" should be for all children or none of them. I think the outrage would have be more, if black children, mexican children, muslim children had been excluded. If the principal or teachers aren't "Smart enough" or "socially intelligent" enough to see how wrong this was, they shouldn't be molding the minds of our future leaders.

    May 12, 2010 at 9:29 am |
  90. Michael Armstrong Sr.

    Catering to only one race is discrimination and its time the white people start standing up for there rights this racial thing is going to far .

    May 12, 2010 at 9:32 am |
  91. michael joseph

    This is a good example of a serious double standard that exists in our country. Can you imagine the outcry if this situation were reversed? That African American children were excluded from an all white field trip? Would that have been ok? Of course it wouldn't ! I would have wanted my child to have had the opportunity to go on that trip. He would have been enriched by what he learned and see that sucess and acomplishments are not dictated by race, that all of us in the USA have the tools and abilities to excel. Unfortunately, racism is not always one sided, white versus black, it also exists as black versus white. No type of racism is acceptable, but what is commonly called "reverse racism" is seldom discussed. We must recognize all forms of this problem and work together to try and eradicate it from our society. It cannot be deemed " acceptable" by one group and unacceptable by another. Racism must be discussed on all levels, and not be just one sided. This is a malady that affects us all- white as well as black.

    May 12, 2010 at 9:32 am |
  92. Bob

    This is outrages in this society of today. I could just see all the protesters out there if it were black children not being able to attend the field trip. The white people would be called racists. Where are Jessie Jackson and Al Sharpton to protest? Why aren't they there protesting for the white children?

    May 12, 2010 at 9:33 am |
  93. Lee

    I understand what the field was suppose to accomplish, but the school should have included all of the kids. The experience would have been more impactful and beneficial in the long run. All kids need to see positive role models together because they will be living and working together. As MLKJr said, "our future is inextricably bound." Also, hopefully, all patents are exposing their Kidd to positive poepke outside of the school programs.
    Lee, New York

    May 12, 2010 at 9:34 am |
  94. Diana Reardon

    Hi Kyra,
    As a Jew with my grandfather having escaped Nazi Germany, I disagree with the segregation of the field trip. This segregation would create more perceptions of seperation and racist views amoung all school students, teachers, staff, and parents. It may also be perceived as blacks only having an interest in blacks. The white children need black role models too. We should view every one as just a human first, reguardless of the circumstances that affect each of us. The school should tutor the failing students with all various types of students and teachers to help bring them up. It is in upholding all of our various human accomplishments and helping each other as humans first, that we will overcome racist views.

    May 12, 2010 at 9:50 am |
  95. Robert

    Kyra, when I see stories like this, it makes me wonder who is running our schools? If an administrator cannot see that this is unfair, that person should be removed.

    End of story. Removed, America does have standards.

    May 12, 2010 at 9:50 am |
  96. Kurt

    If the table was turned, we wouldn't hear the last of it.

    May 12, 2010 at 9:53 am |
  97. Malcolm

    First of all, we need to take a beat and get more details. In this school, were there white students who were performing just as badly and were excluded? If so then it was a misguided effort. If however, the students who were badly performing happened to be black only, then the trip was justified. And for those who want to say the decision to have a black only trip was racist, I challenge you to think about the intent. When white people scream racism, it sound false because the US is engineered to ensure their chances of a quality standard of living. So the affects of racism cannot affect whites in the same way that it affects minorities.
    The other factor is that the parents and families understood the intent and did not have a problem with it. The lesson that needed to be learned from the student who booed is that it is not always about them.
    Sometimes, minorities needs can come before their own.

    May 12, 2010 at 10:01 am |
  98. shelly

    This was a huge miss. Instead of showing the student of both colors that African American people are more then rappers and gangster he could have shown a better side of us. Brains in stead of lyrics and guns. Huge miss. Chad is right if it was the other way around i bet the parents would have been very upset. And obama would have stepped in.

    May 12, 2010 at 10:01 am |
  99. Gloria

    Would it be such a big deal if the special education students went on a field trip? How about the academically gifted? Should everyone go when the school's sports teams have away games? schools have always arranged field trips for specific groups of students- this group just happened to be defined by their ethnic origins.

    May 12, 2010 at 10:03 am |
  100. joesef penn

    I watched your show today in afghanistan while deployed about the segragated field trip. I do agree with the newscaster on that role models come from all races. I was upset to hear how she stated that there are racist groups still in the u.s. she only mentioned and made it sound like the only racist people in america are white. I grew up in detroit and ann arbor and i can tell you for sure that there are just as many black racists as white in our society. I deal with it almost on a regular basis, even while in the army. unfortunately the field trip show these kids that is ok to not to include people based on race.

    May 12, 2010 at 10:04 am |
  101. Nick

    The trip promoted racism. It showed both groups of kids that they are considered different by the school. Kids don't know this until someone points it out to them.

    May 12, 2010 at 10:04 am |
  102. Eric S.

    Does prejudice exist at CNN, too?
    In CNN's video clips, 3 white women were heard giving support for the black-only field trip. No mention of anyone not supporting it.
    Kyra Phillips mention of the KKK and similar anti-color groups, abhorrent and marginalized as they are, without mention of Nation of Islam, Black Panthers, La Raza or MEChA, or any number of sometimes violent non-white racists, shows Kyra's and CNN's own bias. Racism or discrimination is not a white-only crime.
    So, to prove one doesn't use race as a factor, one must use race as a factor. Laws will not change someone's heart.
    Any wonder people don't take seriously the talk of equal rights for all when it's clear that all are equal, just some are more equal than others?

    May 12, 2010 at 10:05 am |
  103. Ben

    I agree with Kurt. If this were a field trip for only the white students, Rev. Sharpton would be all over the new calling this a racial injustice. This is just another example of taking advatange of a "far outdated" affirmative action policy. If another race tried this, it would considered racist. This is not the 1950's or the 1960's anymore. Wake up everyone.

    May 12, 2010 at 10:06 am |
  104. Steve

    I wonder if it would've been all the other way around, that only the white kids went to the field trip, if this situation would've made it into national news. You bet it would have. The people would be rioting in the streets. I have seen it first hand in the late 1990's. This is discrimination plain and simple .

    May 12, 2010 at 10:06 am |
  105. MAX

    too bad my comment is too late to be picked for air but here goes:

    While the matter could have been handled better, what is important here is the motivation. What motivated the principal to take the black kids on the field trip are their LAGGING GRADES. Let us not forget that as we so often do when we seek to sensationalize, blame, sue and cause great professionals to lose their jobs.

    Would it have been fair if the principal had all kids repeat a grade because the black kid’s grades are lagging?

    Would it have been fair if the principal had all kids stay back after school for extra academic work because the black kid’s grades are lagging?

    Would it have been fair if the principal had all kids do extra homework because the black kid’s grades are lagging?

    Would it have been fair if the principal called all parents from their busy day to a parent-teacher conference because the black kid’s grades are lagging?

    Yes, KKK and white racists do exist. But we are not talking about the need for non-racist role models here and for that reason the principal did not take the black kids to see non- racist role models, so I can’t see the need for that comment. What the principal thought would be helpful for black kids are good/successful role models. And no, white kids are not lacking in good role models but black kids are. After all they are all but excluded images on TV.

    Let us not show up only to criticize a flaw in what is clearly a well intended deed. Let us all show up and help these kids do better in school and answer this principal’s cry for help on these kids behalf.

    May 12, 2010 at 10:06 am |
  106. Sijaama

    Kyra, you stated that white children need black role models to dispute the continuing racism in this country; I agree, however if having a black president has not dispelled the sterotypes that have plagued black americans, I doubt the field trip would have done the same. The sad thing is that many of these white supremacists groups start indoctrinating their children from birth; making it almost impossible to sway their thinking. I believe the principal took a drastic measure to reach the students who needed this boost in their education. Had it not been for race, we would be commending this principal for his tenacity.

    May 12, 2010 at 10:08 am |
  107. Christine

    This event is no different than others being held around the country. At Cameron University in Lawton OK there is an annual "Miss Black CU Pageant" which is presented by the Cameron University Ebony Society. The winner of this even is then provided a scholarship to this state university. Dont you think we should give equal opertunities to all students???

    May 12, 2010 at 10:08 am |
  108. Mike Staples

    I'm so sick with the "...if they were white..." argument regarding this story and other similar African American issues. It's not a "racial" thing, these young people (and other under privleged kids) have unique needs that need to be addressed by creative educational programs.

    May 12, 2010 at 10:09 am |
  109. Ken Hill

    Hi Kyra,

    I understand what they were trying to do, but at the same time some of the white children could have learned , that the negative things they hear about blacks, is simply not true. It would have been a win win situation for all the children.

    May 12, 2010 at 10:10 am |
  110. Tony

    Altho the Principle's actions were of good intentions, he approached it the wrong way, and instead of hopefully closing one type of racial divide, he has done the complete opposite.
    I applaude the Principle's thinking in trying to motivate students, but by including only black students, in a reverse manner, he has extended racism to another generation.
    If he had been a white Principle, who had done this with just white students, they would be marching on the school calling for his dismissal, which would happen. Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton would be there to call it racial prejudice at it's highest form, if they are truly for civil rights, where are they now? This is still a racial discrimination, just reversed and because of total equality, should not this black Principal be dismissed too?
    Racial discrimination is multi-directional, not just one way, and should be addressed in all of it's forms.

    Thank you,
    Sincerely,
    Tony

    May 12, 2010 at 10:10 am |
  111. Jean

    Unfortunately, as long as there are people in the world and different nationalities, races, color, creed, status, there will be discrimination and racism.
    There are some members of humanity who have not yet learned to accord others their due rights and dignity and to be fair and just, as they expect others to do to them. They either do not know about the Golden Rule or have forgotten it or ignore it, what Our Lord Jesus Christ taught us: "Do to others whatever you would have them do to you. This is the law and the prophets."
    As some children, some adults may have been nurtured appropriately and they may have forgotten or just ignore this important teaching and discipline. Others may not have been taught at all. I do concede that it is not everything our parents taught us or could have taught us. We have eyes to see and ears to hear. As we grow up, we learn along the way and either adopt what is good or bad.
    Consideration for others go a long way. It also accords us happiness and peace of mind for what we sow we shall surely reap and what goes around comes around. We are beneficiaries of our actions, one way or the other, good or bad.
    People will do well not to practice discrimination/racism for they will not escape the fruits of their actions.
    Godless ones are devoid of God's blessings and graces to do good to others. Therefore, they will never be able to treat others respectfully. Many of them are the troublemakers of the world who will also not accord others their due rights and dignity and peace.
    There is a God above who in His own good patient time will mete out His fair and just recompense to everyone as each one deserves. I always emphasize, it is better to do good than to do evil. Far better. It is a godly lesson for everyone to practice at all times with no exception.

    May 12, 2010 at 10:10 am |
  112. Ken Carter

    As an African American Engineer, I welcome the opportunity to share my knowledge and experiences with all children; not just the Black ones. In speaking to children, I always spread the message of education as the key to opportunity.
    We (all people) need to move beyond the racial barriers that we do acknowledge. I believe, the field trip should have been open to all children. The Black kids would have received the message regardless; just by looking at the professor.

    May 12, 2010 at 10:12 am |
  113. Deb from mich

    if this had been a white principal than the man would have been fired for this, and a large lawsuit would follow, but because he was black, probably nothing will happen. we exspect our white leaders to be sensitive to these situations, but do not hold black leaders to this standard. well i am really tired of the double standards, we have made alot steps forward in treating all people fair and really tired of the" oh my black people were treated very badly decades ago so the white people need to keep paying the price. "well wake up because of this always being thrown in our face ,that we owe blacks this and that is CRAP. and this princpal just fueled that flame. so i am with the parents of the kids that think there should be a lawsuit against this man. and he should not be in the position to affect our children

    May 12, 2010 at 10:14 am |
  114. John Broody

    It seems that the racism is mainly from the "black" community. The white people didn't seem to mind. But I have to agree if the shoe was on the other foot. the black people would be outraged. As a white person, I am tired of the "african-americans demanding seperation from whites. In america equality should be present in this day and age.But "african american" should be a term not used. Just american! Too much fighting and struggle was done over the years to keep race differences from influencing the future generations. And believe me, the kids see thier differences, but they don't mind, as the grown ups seem to keep this thing going on and on.

    May 12, 2010 at 10:15 am |
  115. John Kenyon

    I am a white male and I feel that the principal has done a noble thing by providing a role model for his African American Students who were falling behind to inspire them with an inspirational roll model like that but there should have been another another trip scheduled for the remaining student that were left behind cause Children can get jealous very easily.

    May 12, 2010 at 10:15 am |
  116. Susan

    This was a field trip for a school club. The club was made up of children with poor test scores on their state mandated tests. All of the children were black. Since when are school club field trips open to all students? I know of various school clubs that take field trips based on the specific needs or interests of the club. I guess there should be a new mandate that every school club field trip must include all students. Apparently this became a controversy when the principal had to speak to students who were booing the students returning from the field trip. Was the principal wrong to reprimand those students? Parents of these badly behaved students are trying to create a controversy where none exists.

    May 12, 2010 at 10:22 am |
  117. Max

    Furthermore, the fieldtrip was justified if the kids that went all had lagging grades.Sadly, that they were all black might not be a coincidence. In fact, shame on us that they were all black. And what exactly are those that disagree going to do with the kids that booed? Is that acceptable behavior or is that a problem?

    May 12, 2010 at 10:28 am |
  118. Lee

    Here's an interesting statistic from a 2009 article entitled Careers in Engineering – Black Graduates Wanted: "of 67,000 engineers currently practicing in the U.S., only 3,300 are Black" (Chapman, 2009).

    For all those who question the trip's necessity or validity, there is a clear disparity that speaks directly to the apparent focus and purpose of the field trip. That being said, I most certainly understand the objections and simply think that preventative measures to avoid this type of public outcry should definitely have been taken.

    May 12, 2010 at 10:32 am |
  119. Bill

    Fairness isn't the issue. This was a violation of Michigan State law (2006), prohibiting affirmative action that targets the color, ethnicity or gender of a specific group. It is also fundamentally wrong for a State employee paid to teach "public" school to make these kind of calls. He's paid to teach all the kids not just the ones he favors.

    May 12, 2010 at 10:48 am |
  120. PL Parker

    I wonder if the children were lead to "boo" the other childern when they returned from the field trip? I find it ironic that the children/parents themselves did not protest the fact they were being left out of the fieldtrip before the trip took place. As a parent I know days sometimes weeks before a fieldtrip takes place and have to give my consent for my child to attend. This would have given any parent/student the opprotunity to express their dissatifaction with the blacks only attending and given the opprotunity for discussion and possiblely the way to compromise. Most often children really don't have issues regarding race until the parents step in and most don't find it interesting to attend a fieldtrip to meet a Rocket Scientist. I applaud the parents in the community who understand that things are being blown out of proportion. Let move forward America.

    May 12, 2010 at 10:49 am |
  121. Max

    People, this is not about ethnicity, this it about children with 'Lagging Grades' How can taking kids with lagging grades to see a positive role model violate Michigan State Law (2006)? I'm not going to say thats stupidity, I'm saying lets invoke our intelligence sensibly. Shame on us that the kids with lagging grades are all black!

    May 12, 2010 at 11:07 am |
  122. ewm

    That trip was about, after having identified a group of children, who happen to be African American, and their barriers to excellence, providing those children with an opportunity to experience their infinite human potential.

    May 12, 2010 at 11:19 am |
  123. Jeff M

    I fault the educator because he did not communicatehis reasoning properly. In the story the main point I got was that the students who were taken on the trip, were behind in the classes. All the students excluded
    were not falling behind, and if so they should have been included whatever race they were. Secondly, if the supreme court had decided that African-Americans were in titled to compensation because of four hundred years of us building this country for free (not even including the pain and suffering that went with it), there would be European-Americans (probably confederates) who would demand like payment because
    their forefathers owned slaves-(never mind that Lincoln passed laws to compensate our grandparents, which went ignored). When this country hyphens our American ship it separates and discriminates against us, and so then one to argue that we shouldn't be treated with special
    treatments to correct this is illogical. If I was treated like an American and not an African hyphened American I would have no argument with the logic behind the reasoning.
    The sad result of the way the systems in American worksis that those students will now continue to get left behind, because by the reasoning in place, they can't be singled out for the help that they need to be
    successful Americans. However the real tragedy is that high class white
    students booed them because someone tried to help them. The students who booed probably are mostly middle class, with parents with professional jobs and degrees, and (some of) the blacks probably have dysfunctional families and mothers on welfare and who live in public
    housing, maybe even with fathers in prison or dead. This shows that racism is still being taught, and is imbedded in America's society culture in homes of white families. This in turn causes blacks to be racist
    against whites as a reaction to the racism they perceive, which is not imagined, but is real. Just the hyphening of our citizenship causes us to be perceived as not true Americans, and so causes racism to stay alive.

    May 12, 2010 at 11:24 am |
  124. Comment

    Thank the Principal for helping maintain such standards in our school system.

    All those years of fighting for equal rights and this is what it the end result is.
    A black principle not allowing the white kids to go on a field trip with the black children. This is a blatant example of racism. The parents of these children condone this? They should be ashamed of themselves. The School Board needs to evaluate the Principle and his position as a leader of these children. I have seen several people loose their jobs and everything they have just for making a comment of this matter. This Principle actually promoted and set forth a very obvious segregated position and had our children to do it with. Shame on him and the parents that condoned it.

    May 12, 2010 at 11:33 am |
  125. Linda

    Why haven't any of the parents filed suit? I sure would have done it that very day. If any of my children are discriminated against; I am going to do what is right. (Just as though I do not allow them to discriminate.) It was rude. The principal should be fired immediately. The school board should be ashamed. Discrimination is discrimination, no matter what color.

    May 12, 2010 at 11:44 am |
  126. Jeff M

    Lee you point out the real facts as why the principal felt a need for his actions

    May 12, 2010 at 11:52 am |
  127. Tom Jackson

    Well actually as a black person I really don't see how the white students could be denied attending the field trip. As was mentioned they also need this kind of exposure to repute some of the stereotypes that are often associated with black people. So actually I really can't justify not allowing the white students to attend. This stuff about law suits though I feel is over the top and should be dealt with without litigation but dialogue and understanding.

    May 12, 2010 at 12:03 pm |
  128. Geoffrey Nichols

    Even if no Michigan laws WERE broken, which is unlikely, this is a blatant act of racism! What if a mixed class of white and black students had a chance to attend a university orientation class, but only the white students were allowed to go?!! That would be a similar situation. Also, another of the many examples of racism in this country would be the Congressional Black Caucus where only blacks are members, and also the term African Americans. If they are going to designate black Americans of heritage from Africa as African Americans, then they need to designate whites as to their heritage, as English Americans, Scotch Americans, etc., etc. African Americans are Americans, PERIOD!!!

    May 12, 2010 at 12:26 pm |
  129. Jeff M

    Linda do you think further aliening left behind students by firing one of their
    somewhat successful role models will make the world a better place?

    May 12, 2010 at 12:27 pm |
  130. Ruth

    The incident, even though clearly an administrative error, only inspires emotions like "it's payback time". I heard it today from a friend and it made me angry. Such statements instigate racism and anger. In this country racism is lurking everywhere, masked behind artificial political correctness. It's a societal problem, a problem of how we treat/perceive other individuals especially the ones different from us by skin color, culture or religion. It is a problem of our minds, where artificiality is so badly rooted nowadays. I think we need a mind doctor for our national American psychology. And back to the racist emotions possibly following the incident – do we solve our societal problems by returning anger to anger? By deepening the differences between people? Do we still live in the Middle Ages where we keep retaliating till eternity? I truly wish to see a modern and superior society surrounding us. A society which doesn't cover up stinging truths but instead discusses them on an open table and solves them. Only in such a society I see us, the people, truly free individuals.

    May 12, 2010 at 2:08 pm |
  131. Susan

    Some school districts are now requiring summer school for students who didn't do well on state tests. If all of the students required to attend are black, should all students be required to attend even if they did well on the tests? Many school systems have classes for the gifted. If all of the students in these classes are white, should all students then be placed in these classes? Something tells me that all of these people and their faux cries of racism would be singing a different tune in the situations that I mentioned.

    May 12, 2010 at 2:10 pm |
  132. Jeryl

    When are we going to come to the point that we realize that there is only one race on the face of the earth – the human race? There is certainly ethnic diversity, but people should not be restricted or privileged according the the amount of melanin in their skin. While I don't have a problem with the purpose of the field trip, I also wonder what kind of response would have taken place had all the children on the trip been white and all others excluded. It was ill-advised.

    May 12, 2010 at 2:39 pm |
  133. Maurice

    The students weren't hand picked to participate in the triip trip, they were part of a study group (The Lunch Bunch) that had been meeting on a regular basis, the children happened to be black. All student groups in the district are opened to all students, the group was created to help students that are struggling (to close the achievement gap). The trip was set up for the group (The Lunch Bunch). Why is this any different then a field trip that might have been set up for the water polo team of the swim team (which are generally all white) to visit an olympic swimmer. People are so quick to try and play the race card,. The bigger concern should be about what created the need for the group (achievement gap) in the first place, come on people, get a grip!

    May 12, 2010 at 2:42 pm |
  134. Carl

    Just because the White students didn't go means NOTHING. If the White students were invited just as the Black students were invited then it has NOTHING to do with discrimination. Were Whites invited? Your synopsis never addressed that fact.

    May 12, 2010 at 3:00 pm |
  135. kb wright

    Some one should be FIRED, that is racsism, I don't care about their reasons. We can not exclude any one for any reason based on ethnic background. I my kid was in that district I'd sue for violating human rights.

    May 12, 2010 at 7:25 pm |
  136. Lilithanne

    1. The club was open to all students. Why didn't any white students join?

    2. Why should white students who didn't join the club get the same perks as the members?

    3. Why didn't the parents protest the actual club itself, if they thought it was illegal?

    If these kids had been taken to see Joe Sixpack, successful black manager of three grocery stores, there would have been no outrage.

    That the "anonymous" Ann Arbor parents turned this into a huge controversy shows them in a very ugly light. They're willing to let innocent kids suffer for their overinflated sense of entitlement. Nice lesson to pass on to your children, hypocrites.

    May 12, 2010 at 9:02 pm |
  137. dave

    Separating black and whites? Seems like the more we interact interpersonally, the greater the understand and comfort. Why not keep them togather and why not whites learning from this too?

    May 12, 2010 at 11:18 pm |
  138. Corinne

    Although I am sure this field trip was inspiring, it is completely unfair to only allow African American students to attend. Endorsing any sort of preferential treatment based on race will only stir up more resentment amongst the children. Don’t we want the youth of America to view people of all colors as equal? Every child should have been given the opportunity to visit the Professor, for this would not have taken away from the initial intentions of the trip. Perhaps children of all colors could have benefited from meeting an extremely successful African American man; it could have helped eliminate some of the negative stigmas often associated with minorities, and at the very least would have instilled a mindset that all American citizens are equal.

    May 13, 2010 at 1:01 am |
  139. Wilma

    This is outrageously racist and wrong. Just try and have a all white only field trip and watch jesse james al sharpton come flying out and hollering racism and demandign a appology.
    This separation problem stems years back. In 2003 my family was relocated to South Carolina for a job. The school my child went to was 3 years behind her educational west coast level. A neighbor told me about a school in another location that took children from the islands. When i tried toget her in, she was denied because of her skin color...we are caucasion. There miximun caucasion level was filled, even though there were plenty of openign she was denined, Because, she isnt african american/dark skinned.
    I feel because i am white, my opportunites are slowly beigntaken away....im happy the media is noticing

    May 13, 2010 at 9:07 am |
  140. Kourtney

    I think that this situation needs to be looked at in a few different ways. Number one.
    The students that attended this field trip all happened to be African American. All of the students that attended this trip also seemed to be lacking in some way in academic areas. There are a lot of problems with African American children dropping out of school early, and not being successful; especially black males. I think the entire point of this field trip was to show African American students who are NOT doing well in school that they CAN be successful, and that they CAN do great things in this world.
    Number two.
    Another way this can be looked at is as racism in the school. If you read the article carefully, you will see that all of the children in the program were African American. Why aren't there any white students participating? Did the school say that white students couldn't participate? Why aren't the parents angry, and speaking out?

    There are so many ways to look at this situation, but I believe that the school did not intend to be racist. I think that people should look deeper into the situation before getting super angry, and become biased.

    May 13, 2010 at 9:13 am |
  141. Frost

    Whatever happened to good old American History. Kids in schools learning the Pledge of Allegiance to the AMERICAN Flag, learning the Star Spangled Banner. How we became the country we are! Kids learning to be proud of the UNITED STATES. Our schools and educators are really missing out on an important part of children's learning and need to get back to the basics of creating good Citizens. For the most part a large number of Americans are a mix of several different cultures. The problems in Arizona is the teachers teaching the classes in Ethnic Studies, not so much the class itself. BUT, before going into Ethnic Studies, let's educate our children on being an AMERICAN first!

    May 13, 2010 at 9:18 am |
  142. Sad Story

    Sadly, If you saw the story on CNN, it was more about the white students booing the black students when they returned from this trip, and the principals reaction to that. Shame on CNN for not covering the real issue at hand which was segregation and the exclusion of the white students.

    Way to go CNN!

    May 13, 2010 at 12:04 pm |
  143. Tiffany K

    So they wanted to have a moment for black children about RACISM.. BUT.. IT'S STILL SEGREGATION seperating different races.

    HOW ARE YOU BRIDGING A GAP WHEN YOU ARE DIVIDING PEOPLE?!?!?!

    And why do 'african-americans' think this is still the 'old ages' and that they don't have any rights? They have every right in the book. I'm out numbered every day by 'african-americans.' I don't get welfare or food stamps. I have to work 3 jobs to take care of my family while the black neighbors I have do absolutely nothing and when I ask them why it's because they're a 'minority.' BLACK people are the ones who need to LET GO OF THE PAST. Ya'll get every right in the book, plus FREE money, and you're own civil rights organization, and like everyone is saying, if this was reversed there would be a race war!!!!!!

    May 13, 2010 at 7:56 pm |
  144. Juniormintsrule

    Was Kanye behind all this?

    May 14, 2010 at 8:25 am |
  145. RPalme

    This is a case of reverse racism, next someone will try and turn it around by saying why are the African American children required to do this extra work while the White children are having a free day.

    So if they take a trip to Washington to see the White House are they going to exclude the White children because the President is African American?

    I'm glad this issue made the National News!

    May 14, 2010 at 8:37 am |
  146. Alex

    Yes, the field trip is unfair, speaking out as a Caucasian adult. However as a Caucasian I do believe there is still anti black feelings so all this mighty white protestation is an oxymoron and very suspect. However, no one asked the kids what they thought about this. One should do this as follows, as the black kids first and then the white kids. i don't think anyone asked the scientist either. You might be surprised.

    Oh, something about segregation. This NYC bomber being segregated as a high value militant. Hello there. If this does not smell like a CIA double agent deal I don't know what does. Just think it took just 53 hours to get him and they can't find White Bolger. Let's check the plastic surgeons of America. What a laugh.

    Have fun with these, Kyra. Let's get back to Tiger and his golf friends. Just to level the segregated playing field let's investigate the Caucasian golfing stars and their golf bunnies.

    May 14, 2010 at 9:50 am |
  147. Delilah

    If the parents didn't really speak out (which I think is a lie) then someone needs to! WHITE PEOPLE NEED TO START STANDING UP FOR THEMSELVES LIKE BLACK PEOPLE DO! We need to stop letting them stomp all over us with their NAACP and them thinking because our president is HALF-BLACK (HE'S NOT FULL BLACK SORRY TO BREAK IT TO YOU HE HAS WHITE IN HIM) that they rule everything and also that because their ancestors had it rough, even though excuse me, we were ALL immigrants at some point or another... GET OVER YOURSELVES! Most of my friends are jewish and a good number of their ancestors went through the terrible holocaust but I NEVER hear them complain. Also you're more free than me!! Black people have WAY more benefits than white people do. I live in a neighborhood where I'm called 'snowflake' and when I moved in here I had everything in my entire house stolen and the neighbors said 'it's probably cause they seen white folks move in.' No joke..

    I'm so sick of 'african americans' thinking they can do whatever they want and THEY HOLD ON TO THE PAST of their ancestors for EXCUSES!!!!!!!!!!
    Stand up for yourself, you're an american.

    May 14, 2010 at 9:52 am |
  148. LIZ CARTER in GEORGIA

    @Tiffany K, lastly, I'd like to say to you that I believe that you just hadn't really took time to think through your statements about African Americans and I know all whites don't feel the way you do about the race issue, THANK GOD! But I wanted to just give you and a few other bloggers a mini-synopsis of my view or outlook on the STANDING RACIAL ISSUE, that still plagues our nation. It was a fairly dormant enemy for a while but it seemed to awaken from its deep nap, soon as BARACK OBAMA came to the stage!

    May 14, 2010 at 9:29 pm |
  149. LIZ CARTER in GEORGIA

    @Shirley, thankyou for your intelligent and thoughtful comments.

    May 14, 2010 at 9:35 pm |
  150. john doe

    There is no excuse for this action, if all can not go then none must go!!! Race aside!!! I must understand that the teacher's are the racist here!!! Not the kid's!!! You all need to get together on this!!! USA is the way!!!

    May 15, 2010 at 7:09 am |
  151. Gigi

    Field trips were always a special treat when I was in school. I wonder how the teachers or parents explained all of this to the kids who weren't allowed to go. It must have sounded condescending – "Well honey, the black kids aren't as smart as you, so they need some extra help" – or else preferential – "Sorry, this trip is special just for the black children." If I had been one of those children left behind, I would have thought either 1) my teacher thought black kids were stupid, or 2) my teacher liked the black children best of all, or 3) getting bad grades can earn you cool field trips, or 4) maybe the university professor just doesn't like kids of other races. I would have been a confused and sad child, and whether I looked at my returning black classmates with condescension or jealousy afterwards, it would have been some thought of "You're different from me. The grown-ups say so. We aren't the same." It teaches kids to judge each other by skin color. I think it's better to teach them about equality of intelligence, merit, and potential rather than emphasize the differences.

    May 16, 2010 at 1:20 am |