Black Seattle parents furious over termination of gifted and talented program for having too many white students

"You don’t help by cutting the program."


Parents in Seattle, Washington, expressed their anger over the city's decision to close its Highly Capable Cohort (HHC) schools for gifted students by the end of the 2027-2028 school year because it has too many white and Asian students.

According to FOX 13, 11 schools in total were scheduled to be closed and will start to be phased out in the fall. The district says on its website that the decision was made to address "historical inequity," because some races are underrepresented in them.

One mom, Simrin Parmar, told the outlet that the decision "will not help those kids to just cut the program wholesale." She added, "We weren’t servicing enough of them. You don’t help by cutting the program. What we should be doing is identifying more children from underrepresented groups that aren’t getting a fair shake in the testing and doing more to fix that and providing these services to more kids across the city."

Another mom, Kiley Riffe, said, "SPS is scrapping all HC programming and replacing it with empty promises, zero plan, and zero funding. I’m sad to watch so many families leave the public school system, but I can’t blame them."

In a new video debating the closures in 2020, obtained by the Daily Mail, a black woman leader in tech and mom, Sara Jones said, "I am proud of the exemplary education I received through the HCC model."

"I would not be where I am today without it," she added.

"It breaks my heart that little boys and girls like I was, whose brains work differently may not get the opportunity to learn in an environment that's right for them, and will help realize their brilliance," Jones said with tears in her eyes.

In the video, board member Zachary DeWolf routinely cut off parents of all races who expressed concern for the plan. Fellow Board member Chandra Hampson also drew fury when black parents, who wanted to keep the schools open, were told they were "tokenizing" their children.

The outlet noted that both DeWolf and Hampson were found to have violated the anti-bullying policy against two black employees who worked on an anti-racism plan with them.

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