Boy Reportedly Forced To Switch Schools Because Of Race

| by Karin Sun
Gateway Science Academy in St. LouisGateway Science Academy in St. Louis

A St. Louis, Missouri, third grader can reportedly no longer attend the charter school where he is currently enrolled because he is African-American.

Edmund Lee is currently enrolled in the third grade at Gateway Science Academy, a charter school in south St. Louis, KTVI reported. However, he may be forced to leave the school after his family moves to St. Louis County this year because of his race.

Edmund's mother, La'Shieka White, said the city of St. Louis only allows children from surrounding counties to attend a charter school in the city if they live in a district that participates in transfer programs, and are not African-American.

This policy is reportedly an outdated regulation created several decades ago to help the city address segregation problems in its schools.

After learning that her son may be forced to leave his school, White created a petition to bring her situation to the attention of lawmakers in the city's Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.  

The petition has garnered more than 1,010 signatures as of Feb. 24. The goal of the petition is to gather 1,500 signatures.

Several staff members at Gateway Science Academy have signed the petition and offered their support to the boy and his mother.

"To not see his face in the halls next year would be extremely sad," Tiffany Luis, Edmund's third grade teacher, told KTVI.

"The family is saying they want to stay," she added. "I don't understand why they can't."

"If this helps us start a conversation about maybe some things that could be different with the law, then that is a good thing," Janet Moak, an assistant principal at the school, said.

White said the outdated transfer policies in place may also prevent white parents from enrolling their children in the schools of their choice.

"I don't want it to be just about an African-American boy," she said. "I want it to be about all children."

Edmund's family is moving to the Pattonville school district in St. Louis County, according to the petition.

Sources: KTVI, / Photo Credit:, St. Louis City Talk

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