By Christopher Carbone, ,
Published July 01, 2018
Parents at a posh private school are unhappy over an administrator’s plan to continue allegedly segregating students by race.
The Little Red School House in New York’s West Village, which has tuition fees of $45,485 per year, told parents last month that non-white middle school students will be placed in the same homeroom in the fall, the New York Post reported.
They learned that the race-based placement, implemented by Director Philip Kassen, already had been in effect for seventh and eighth graders during the 2017-18 school year.
The historically progressive school reportedly counts the children of celebrities including David Schwimmer and Christy Turlington Burns among its student body.
Kassen did not respond to Fox News' request for comment.
The New York Post reports that each grade, which has approximately 40 students, has two homerooms. Students remain with their homeroom groups for 30 percent of the school day.
“My daughter who is 11 was like, ‘Wow, this is crazy. They are talking about separating by color,’” one father, who asked to remain anonymous, told the Post.
“And I was thinking how antiquated is this? This is backwards. It’s almost like segregation now.”
After a Post inquiry, Kassen sent a message to parents Wednesday detailing last year’s race-placement “initiative” — although multiple sources told the paper they weren't aware of it.
Still, parents said the school always let race play a heavy hand in class placement. One mother said for three years all but one of the 10 non-white students in her child’s grade were assigned to the same class in lower school.
When the policy became more widely understood in early June, parents started to express their displeasure.
The Post reported that Kassen, who made $403,039 in total compensation in 2016, emailed parents on June 12 to say the placement policy would be reviewed.
Eight days later, he emailed again, stating that he would end the policy, but would continue to keep “race as a critical, but not primary, determinant.”
“How could a school possibly do that? I don’t know if I would necessarily send a child to a school that separated by race,” Amanda Uhry, president of Manhattan Private School Advisors, told the Post.
Uhry continued: “1964, remember that? We had segregation in America. What is this? It’s segregation!”
One educational consultant in New York told the Post that the policy is meant to help black or Latino students feel less isolated by giving them safety in numbers.
However, she said it would be only a temporary solution and would not address larger, systemic issues at work.
“The problem is, there still isn’t enough diversity in New York City independent schools. This is just a band-aid. You need to advocate for more financial aid and diversity,” she said.
Fox News' Madeline Fish contributed to this report.