CHOCTAW, Okla. -- Separation or segregation? Parents say they're infuriated by a plan at Choctaw Middle Schools to prevent children from interacting. Former and current students say the school's proposal wouldn't allow many boys and girls to eat together. School officials would not comment as to what led to the proposal, but told KFOR late Friday afternoon they would no longer be separating the students.
The school was reportedly going to separate 8th graders during lunch and mornings, for an incident that took place on campus.
"It's absolutely mind boggling, they're segregating the children here, the boys and girls in the cafeteria," said Choctaw alum Jorge Aguirre, before the school's most recent announcement. "This is their time when they actually get to interact with each other."
Jorge has a younger brother at the school, who told him the separation was announced at a school meeting on Thursday. Concerned as to why his brother was being separated, Jorge called the school for answers, recording his conversation.
"We're enforcing some stricter rules, to try to get a handle on our eighth graders, and try to get them a little more mature," said a Choctaw school official to Jorge. "We are just trying to pull in the reins on the eighth graders, we normally have to do this every year."
"I have five brothers and sisters that came to this school, and this has never happened," said Aguirre.
The news has been all atwitter on social media, with the hashtags #amiintroubleam and #segregationatChoctaw Middle School on the rise.
Now even former students are speaking out.
"I think that's a little bit ridiculous," said Jamie Chilton, who attended Choctaw schools. "You won't really get to learn how to interact with other people, whether it be dating or just how to form a relationship with the opposite sex."
School administrators spoke with KFOR Thursday afternoon. They stated that both parent and student concerns alike had been listened to, addressed, and that the 8th grade students would no longer be split by gender during the day.