An ongoing effort to make Ron Brown College Prep School gender inclusive recently took a strange twist.
The American Civil Liberties Union of the Nation’s Capital said on Sep. 12 that D.C. Public Schools changed its admissions policy to allow girls students to attend the school designed for low-income male students of color. But school officials quickly denied that claim, the Washington Post reports.
On Sep. 9, the ACLU said it believed that public school officials reversed its policy, after speaking with lawyers from the D.C. Office of the Attorney General. The organization, which says the enrollment policy is gender biased, posted a statement praising the reversal.
“By opening up these important programs to girls as well as boys, DCPS has done right by both the Constitution and the neediest children of the District,” the statement said.
But public school officials immediately denied that it would enroll girl students at the school. The attorney general’s office, which called the ACLU’s statement a mischaracterization of the conference call, also denied that the policy changed.
Ron Brown had its inaugural opening on Aug. 22. The prep school is part of a $20 million empowerment initiative for males of color.
The grand opening was celebrated against the backdrop of the ACLU’s allegation of gender discrimination. The civil rights organization questions the legality of a publicly funded school for males, but not one for girls. It addressed that issue in a report, titled “Leaving Girls Behind.”