ST. LOUIS, MO (KSDK) — A St. Louis mother is fighting for change after learning her son cannot return to his school next year because he’s African-American.
“It’s heartbreaking. It really is,” La’Shieka White says.
White’s son, Edmund Lee, is currently in the third grade at Gateway Science Academy on the city’s south side. He’s been at the charter school since kindergarten, and he’s known around the building for his stellar academics, performance and overall bubbly personality.
“The first reason I love this school is because I make friends,” Lee said.
The family recently decided for personal reasons to buy a house and move from the city to St. Louis County. They wanted to keep Lee at the school, but something surprising was discovered during the re-enrollment process.
Lee isn’t allowed to return this fall because of his skin color.
The issue comes down to a longstanding federal appeals settlement dealing with desegregation from more than 30 years ago. In part, it says African-American students living in St. Louis County cannot attend schools in St. Louis city.
“Sometimes when government makes laws, sometimes they don’t think about the kinds of laws they’re making for people like me,” the 9-year-old told KSDK-TV. “I just don’t want to feel left out because of how my race is.”
The family has established an online petition that has garnered nearly 50,000 signatures of support from around the world.
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