NYC private school's reported plan to place students by race draws backlash
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A private school is drawing backlash from parents in New York City over its race-based placement policy. 

According to the New York Post, many parents at the Little Red School just became aware of the policy introduced under Director Philip Kassen that would place minority middle-school students into the same homerooms as early as this fall.

The New York publication obtained a message from Kassen that was sent to parents of students at the upscale school last week, detailing the previous year’s race-placement “initiative.”

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In the email, Kassen explained the policy was brought forth to “create greater opportunities for connection and support” and said the measure was born from conversations with recent graduates from the school.

Kassen also pointed to a portion of the school’s handbook in his email, saying: “Research points to the academic, social, and emotional benefits to being in a classroom with others who share racial, ethnic, linguistic, and/or cultural backgrounds.”

“My daughter who is 11 was like, ‘Wow, this is crazy. They are talking about separating by color,’ ” a student’s parent, who requested anonymity, told the publication.

“And I was thinking how antiquated is this? This is backwards. It’s almost like segregation now,” the parent continued. 

But other parents at the school told the local paper the institution had long been implementing the race-based class placement, with one mother saying that nine of the ten nonwhite students in her child’s grade had been assigned to the same class for three years. 

However, Kassen claimed the policy had only been in effect last year and was limited to 7th and 8th graders. 

But after the policy became common knowledge last month, parents became irate over the “minority class” and complained the institution wasn’t “very transparent” about the policy. 

In response to the backlash, Kassen told parents in June the controversial policy would be eliminated but that he would continue to keep “race as a critical, but not primary, determinant.”