LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — Dozens lined up on Central High School's front lawn Wednesday to protest the state's decision to partially hand over the Little Rock School District.
"We will not accept segregation by race, segregation by class," Dr. Anika T. Whitfield said.
Dr. Anika T Whitfield has become a major advocate for returning the Little Rock School District back to local control.
The State Board of Education released its plan to partially hand over local control by separating the district into three categories. The final category is dedicated to failing schools, meaning they would operate under different leadership.
"They want schools that have an A-D grade to be managed by a certain entity," Whitfield said. “The F schools only, will have another entity, so they are not really part of the district."
Whitfield said this plan segregates Little Rock's schools. She said it is also reminiscent of why the Little Rock Nine came to be in the first place.
"The Little Rock Nine simply came to Central High School, not because they didn't believe that they had world class teachers at Horace Mann," Whitfield said. "What they were lacking were the world class resources that the state was only giving to schools like Central High School."
Whitfield said she worries the failing schools in the district will not be given the same resources, which is why Whitfield and dozens of others are still fighting to bring back local control.
"This is the type of district that we want. We want one that accepts everybody. Whether ability or disability. No matter what the difference is, we want to stand united as the one Little Rock School District because this is our district and we want to reclaim it together," Whitfield said.
Gov. Asa Hutchinson said earlier this week he does not believe this plan will segregate the district. Whitfield wants to meet with him in person.