High School Separates Students by Race for Pre-Test Pep Talk

A high school divided students by ethnicity for separate pep talks on boosting test scores, featuring jazz music for black students and flags of Asian students' foreign homelands.

Mount Diablo High School in Concord also held separate assemblies Friday for white and Hispanic students, stirring accusations of segregation from some students' parents.

"In this country, everybody is supposed to be treated equally. It sounds like racism to me," said Filipino parent Claddy Dennis, mother of freshman Schenlly Dennis.

Principal Bev Hansen said she held the divided student assemblies this year and last year to avoid one ethnic group harassing another based on test scores, arguing that the state has long reported test results based on race.

"In this country, race is a very uncomfortable topic, and it's time we got over it," Hansen said.

The principal of a San Ramon high school apologized last year after holding pre-test pep talks for black and Hispanic students but not white students.