‘Separate But Equitable’: Denver Elementary School Hosts Racially Segregated Family Playground Night

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Centennial Elementary School in Denver, Colorado, is taking us back to the days of state-sanctioned racism a la their segregated “Families of Color Playground Nights.” The surprising event put on in the name of diversity, equity, and inclusion was flagged by Manhattan Institute senior fellow and City Journal writer Christopher Rufo on Tuesday.

Rufo tweeted, “Denver Public Schools now promoting racially-segregated playtime—for ‘equity.'” alongside a photo that featured advertisements for one of the events:

Denver Public Schools spokesperson Scott Pribble confirmed to Rufo that these events have been taking place. Pribble also said that the “Families of Color” playground nights “provide connections, support, and inspirations for families which share similar experiences, and come from similar backgrounds.”

“Efforts like these are about uniting us, not dividing us,” Pribble said regarding the school event.

In response to that statement from the school district, Babylon Bee CEO Seth Dillon simply said, “‘Division unites us.’ Orwellian nonsense.”

In a statement given to The Daily Caller, Pribble also said that the events were created after several black families had requested a “space of belonging.”

“Some of these families shared with us that, since the only time many of them see one another is at drop-off and pick-up times, we host some events where Black families can meet one another, connect with one another and share their experiences about the school with one another,” The Daily Caller reported.

Rufo — who has emerged as a leader in the anti-critical race theory movement — compared past forms of discrimination by saying, “[f]rom ‘separate but equal’ to ‘separate but equitable.'”

Rufo also found that the monthly events included several activities based on critical race theory principles.

“In this first session, we will introduce the Equity Book Study and Equity Discussions which will alternate each month,” a Facebook post from September said, adding that the group would meet the first Wednesday of each month and that it would be reading “How We Show Up: Reclaiming Family, Friendship, and Community” by Mia Birdsong.”

“In alternating months, we will discuss another resource, topic, or equity-related theme,” the social media post added. “This first month, we will focus on getting to know each other and learning about how we can contribute to equity at Centennial.”

Likewise, Denver law professor Dave Kopel made note that these events are likely illegal.

Segregation sanctioned by school officials — who for some reason believe it to beneficial — has crept back up in America over at least the past year. In August, The Daily Wire reported on a black mother in Atlanta who was outraged after learning her daughter’s school principal had divided classes between white and black students:

Black mother Kila Posey was outraged after learning that her child’s Atlanta public elementary school was segregating classrooms based on race. 

According to a report from WSB-TV Atlanta, Posey uncovered that the school’s principal was segregating classes based on race when she insisted that her child be moved to a different classroom. The principal, Sharyn Briscoe, told Posey that her child would be “isolated” in the desired classroom because it wasn’t a “black class.” 

“[The principal] said, ‘that’s not one of the black classes.’ And I immediately said, ‘what does that mean?’ I was confused,” Posey told the local news outlet. “I asked for more clarification. I was like, ‘we have those in this school?’ And she proceeded to say that yes, ‘I have decided that I’m going to place all of the black students in two classes.’” 

Posey claims that the elementary school created eight classes, two for black students, and six for white students.  

“We’ve lost sleep trying to figure out, like, why would a person do this? First, it was just disbelief that I was having this conversation in 2020 with a person that looks just like me, a black woman,” Posey said. “It’s segregating classrooms. You cannot segregate classrooms. You can’t do it.” 

The “Families of Color Playground Nights” come nearly 70 years after the Supreme Court ruled that racial segregation in public schools was illegal under the U.S. Constitution.

The views expressed in this piece are the author’s own and do not necessarily represent those of The Daily Wire.

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