Mayport, Mississippi — Mayport Middle School sent a strong signal to students last week when it announced it would allow students from non-white groups and other non-traditional backgrounds to join classes for the first time in its history.
The move comes at a time when schools across the country are facing rising tensions about how they welcome students from diverse backgrounds.
“The diversity in our school community is very much part of who we are as a school,” Mayport Superintendent Kevin Anderson said in a statement.
“In Mayport we believe that diversity is important to the students, their families and their communities.”
Mayport was the first school in Mississippi to accept students from different ethnic backgrounds since the early 1900s.
The new policy is one of the first statewide examples of a school district adopting such an initiative, Anderson said.
The change comes just weeks after a federal judge blocked the Trump administration’s ban on federal funding for the Diversity Immigrant Visa Program, a program that allows eligible immigrants from a diverse range of countries to enter the U.S. to study, work and study in STEM fields.
In a separate case, a judge ruled that the Trump government’s proposed rule could take effect, meaning schools in New York City, Los Angeles and San Francisco would also begin accepting students from outside the country.
“This is just one more step in our efforts to support students and their families who are diverse and who are working to build the nation’s future,” Anderson said of the Mayport move.