FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM) – It’s becoming a growing trend in public schools, gender-specific campuses.
Fort Worth ISD has approved an all-boys school for next year. The district already operates an all-girls school. But the all-boys plan is not fully supported in Stop Six, the very neighborhood that’s set to house the school.
The Dunbar Sixth Grade Center is the approved site for the Leadership Academy for Young Men. But it’s the one place critics say it shouldn’t be located.
The Dunbar campus has historic significance. It sits in one of Fort Worth’s oldest African American neighborhoods. The all-male academy planned for the campus would be a boys version of FWISD’s Young Women’s Leadership Academy off West Magnolia in the hospital district.
Critics say they are concerned an all-boys school would not help enough children from Stop Six. Instead, the academy would accept students citywide, and limit the number of boys who could attend.
Fort Worth attorney and Dunbar school advocate Bobbi Edmonds opposed the school board’s approval of turning the Dunbar campus into a district-wide All Male Academy.
She says an all boys school would take education access away from boys and girls attending and achieving at the 6th grade center. “We feel that all students should have that opportunity to stay at the center. I’m not opposing an all male school, just put it at another site,” says Edmonds.
FWISD Administrator Rian Townsend says the all-male academy is limited to 150 boys, boys from every Fort Worth neighborhood. But students from the 6th grade center who aren’t accepted at the gender-exclusive schools won’t be left behind.
“If the students don’t get in the academy, they will still be provided an outstanding education at Dunbar Middle School,” says Townsend.
The boys academy opens next school year.