A concerned member of the F.A. Day Middle School school community contacted Parents Defending Education to report that they are “offering affinity groups—some during advisory” and also after-school to “create a sense of belonging.” They also indicated that “not everyone has equal access.”
We reached out to the school principal to find out if this was happening and if so, to better understand the purpose behind the practice and to find out if parents had been notified.
Here is the text of the email that was sent to the school:
…we received information regarding student affinity groups happening during the advisory period and also after school at F.A. Day Middle School. According to the complaint, students are being separated into groups based on their race and sexual orientation.
Can you confirm this claim? And if it is happening, can you provide information regarding what the categories being used are and if the groups are optional or mandatory and if parents were notified in advance?
The district website provides information regarding staff affinity groups but I don’t see anything about students.
The principal did not confirm or deny the assertion nor answer any of our questions. Here is her full response:
Thank you for your email. I would be happy to connect directly with any Day parent who has questions about any of our clubs or activities. Please have them reach out to me directly, and I can set up a time to touch base.
It seems that the principal does not believe the public has a right to know what is happening at her school and that the only way to find out is for the concerned person to reach out to her directly. But doesn’t the fact that they contacted Parents Defending Education anonymously imply that they are presumably not comfortable reaching out directly?
The community wants – and deserves! – to know whether middle school students in Newton are being separated into groups based on their race and sexual orientation at school. Is that too much to ask?