SAN DIEGO — The principal of Patrick Henry High School is reversing course after parents and students rallied against the elimination of some honors classes.
Principal Michelle Irwin’s decision followed a protest by hundreds of students in the quad Wednesday.
“I didn’t receive enough feedback from parents and students and so, you know, after yesterday’s rally, I paused and thought, ‘Well, you know what, let’s ask more parents and students for their feedback and input,” Irwin said. “So that’s what we’re doing over the next couple of days; we’re holding some parent forums.”
Irwin said the move was aimed at enhancing equity. She pointed to racial disparities in honors and non-honors courses, and said classifying courses can be stigmatizing.
But parents and students circulated a petition online to bring back all honors courses. It had garnered more than 2,100 signatures as of Thursday morning.
“There’s not enough of (honors classes), to be honest with you,” parent John Fernandez told FOX 5. “If you want to talk about equality, then create more honors classes instead of reducing the honors classes that we have.”
“The intent is good but the product is not,” said Yusef Miller with the Racial Justice Coalition. “It’s wrong-headed to think that by eliminating these courses you will bring equity. Equity is not asking for that. … What we’re asking for is for equality in the access to courses, not the absence or removal of them.”
Principal Irwin is hosting a parent forum Zoom meeting Thursday evening and Friday morning.
Parents told FOX 5 they plan to protest at the school district’s next meeting on Tuesday.