Student Group Disbanded After Blacks-Only Field Trip

The Michigan school district investigating whether an elementary school field trip that excluded white students was illegal has disbanded the black-students-only academic support group that participated in the outing two weeks ago.

“We have essentially put it on hold while we wait for the final determination on the investigation into possible violation of the State's Proposal 2,” Ann Arbor School District spokeswoman Liz Margolis told

Thirty members of the Dicken Elementary School’s AA Lunch Bunch, a support group designed to bridge the gap in test scores between white and black students, were taken on a field trip two weeks ago to meet Alec Gallimore, an African-American rocket scientist who is an aerospace engineering professor and propulsion lab director at the University of Michigan.

The school principal, Mike Madison, who is black, helped organize the trip, saying he hoped to encourage the students to pursue a career in the sciences. Hoping to quell rising tensions over the black-students-only outing, Madison sent a lengthy letter home to parents in which he explained the reasoning behind the trip.

He admitted, however, that it could have been “approached and arranged in a better way.”

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“The intent of our field trip was not to segregate or exclude students, as has been reported, but rather to address the societal issues, roadblocks and challenges that our African-American children will face as they pursue a successful academic education here in our community,” Madison wrote.

But instead of quashing tensions, the letter fueled a week of controversy and an onslaught of parental complaints that culminated late last week in the school district’s launch of an investigation into whether the field trip violated Proposal 2, a new state law that bans racial favoritism in public schools.

The investigation is ongoing, and the Lunch Break will be out to lunch until it's wrapped up.

“It is likely this lunch program will be reworked to serve more students who are not testing at proficient or above on the state assessment tests,” said Margolis, who last week told that the principal's motives were not in question.

“Except for the final advice from our legal on the Proposal 2 issue and working with the school parents, staff and students on some further conversations and plans around the school's assessment, there is nothing else to decide.”