Mom fights law after nine-year-old is forced to change schools because of his race

A St. Louis mother is reaching out to lawmakers and citizens to change a 30-year-old federal mandate that is forcing her son to change schools due to his race, according to local news station KSDK-TV.

Edmund Lee is currently in the third grade at Gateway Science Academy where he has been since kindergarten. His family’s decision to move outside of the city of St.Louis would not have been a problem in school enrollment except for the fact that they are African-American.

“It’s heartbreaking. It really is,” mother La’Shieka White told KSDK-TV.

During the process of re-enrolling, it was discovered that a ruling on desegregation from more than 30 years ago prevents African-American students living in St. Louis County to attend schools in St. Louis city.

“I think it has been overlooked,”Assistant Principal Janet Moak said.  “I think that’s why people may be shocked to hear it’s happening in 2016.”

At the time, the settlement was implemented as a way to balance out the racial diversity in area schools. Lee’s family thinks the rule has had its day and should be tossed out, launching an online petition in an effort to bring awareness and change.

But Missouri education officials said change can only come from the federal level and that Lee is able to remain at the charter school only if his family chooses not to move, according to KSDK.

“I feel sad because I like staying where I am at and going here,” said the 9-year old student. “Sometimes when government makes laws, sometimes they don’t think about the kinds of laws they’re making for people like me,” he added. “I just don’t want to feel left out because of how my race is.”

See the full story in the video below.

Frieda Powers


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