The Excellence Boys Charter School in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn was defending itself Tuesday against parent complaints that its new, “Scoreboard Behavioral System” was discriminatory and treating disciplined students like prisoners.The principal defended the program on the grounds that “We have a college prep school and everything we do here is about getting students ready for college. . . . What we’re doing here is about getting our kids to college.” And when they get there, what will they make of that completely alien environment?
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A father of two sons who attend the Middle Academy, grades 5 through 8, contacted PIX 11 about a memo sent out by the school in early January. The memo explained the Middle Academy would allow students to earn—or lose—achievement points, based on their behavior. Starting each school week with 50 points, any student left with 0 or less points by week’s end would be subject to five days of detention–and designated “Out of the Brotherhood”. This means they would be placed in a separate room for breakfast and lunch—and ordered to wear a light green Polo shirt, instead of the blue Oxford shirt boys in the Middle Academy typically wear as part of their uniform. Other scholars, as the school refers to students, would not be able to interact with the disciplined boys.
“It’s offensive,” said ‘Jason Vincent’ (not his real name), who e-mailed PIX 11 about the practice, “because, first of all, they’re all young, black men, and I don’t feel that I should have to be concerned with a school seeming like a prison. That’s not what I send my children to school for.”
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