Roosevelt High school in New Jersey became a place where white students could feel safe for the first time in decades, thanks to a new school policy.
Students from other racial and ethnic backgrounds, as well as non-white students, were all welcome.
The school board voted Tuesday to expand the program to other schools in the state.
As the New York Times reports, the decision comes after the Trump administration blocked a similar expansion of the program in the district last month.
The new policy will give students in the school district more opportunities to learn and is intended to help them cope with racial discrimination and harassment, said school board member David R. LaVelle, who introduced the measure.
“The hope is to make Roosevelt one of the first places in the country that we see an uptick in white students’ confidence in their white classmates,” LaValle told the Times.
“When we’re all in the same school, we have a common bond and we know what each other are capable of, and that gives us a common sense of what we’re capable of.”
In the past, Roosevelt High’s white students have been targeted by other students, but this year they have also experienced increased bullying and racial tension.
The White Student Union at Roosevelt High, a local student advocacy group, is calling on the school board to expand its program to include more minority students.
The school district’s new policy was applauded by school board members, who said they felt it was necessary to expand a policy that had been in place for decades.
“This is a really good step forward,” said school district Superintendent Richard F. Roush.
“We need to look at other schools across the country to see if we can expand this policy, to see how we can create a safer school environment for our students.”
“We need a more inclusive and safe school environment,” he said.
“That’s the first step.”
The White Student Association at Roosevelt said in a statement that they were happy that the school will now be able to expand.
“I think this will be a positive development for Roosevelt High,” said the group’s director, Daniel B. Tipton.
“It will make Roosevelt an even better school to teach in, as it will provide a safe environment for students to learn in.”