Scholars are referred to as “Kings” within the confines of the first all-boys public school in Washington D.C.
With the DC area being well-known for its poverty and crime-stricken communities, it is assuring to learn of the recent grand opening of Ron Brown College Prep School High School for boys in Northeast, DC.
At Ron Brown College Preparatory High School in Northeast, the 110 freshmen are referred to as kings, not kids. “What a wonderful, wonderful day it is to be a monarch,” said Principal Benjamin Williams to the crowd assembled outside the school for its opening. Students wear blazers and ties as part of their uniforms, and study a curriculum focused on humanities and classical languages, such as Spanish and Latin.
Ron Brown is part of a $20 million initiative that the school district describes as an attempt to empower underperforming black and Hispanic young men.
Some critics of the school, such the ACLU, say the city shouldn’t create special programs for boys without doing the same for girls. D.C. Public Schools Chancellor Kaya Henderson responded today, saying a plan for young women is in the works.
“They have some different challenges,” she said. “We want to design the right set of strategies for our girls, and not just stuff them in the boys’ box.”
Another area of concern is the building itself, which is still under construction. The building currently only needs to house one freshman class; a new grade will be added to the school each year. Officials say the building will be finished by the time that process is complete.
Mayor Muriel Bowser said she’s had to come around herself to the idea of opening the school as-is.