Elementary School Caught Secretly Segregating Kids As An Experiment, Parents Angered

An elementary school enacts a controversial segregation experiment on young child without alerting parents first.

By Erika Hanson | Published

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Most adults have already seen it. The infamous video from the ’70s depicts a teacher segregating her class by eye color. The experiment is wildly popular and still used today in studies. But how would parents feel to know their elementary school-aged children were being used in a similar segregation experiment without parents’ knowledge or consent? That is exactly what happened recently in a major Texas city. 

If you haven’t seen Jane Elliott’s popular segregation experiment, watch a portion of it below.

Mike and Brandi Lininger are the parents of a ten-year-old girl that attends Leon Springs Elementary in San Antonio Texas. Recently, the parents spoke with News 4 to express their anger with the school for enacting a segregation experiment in their daughter’s classroom. The caveat: neither parents nor students were told beforehand what was to happen. 

Children in the elementary school classroom were said to have been segregated by the color of their hair. “All of the dark-haired kids, the brown- and black-haired kids, were treated as the privileged ones and the blonde-haired and the redhead kids were the ones treated not so nicely,” said Brandi Lininger. Brandi also told local reporters that the children categorized into the “less privileged” group were told they were not as intelligent. Similarly, she says that the group was purposely given a game with missing pieces so they could not play. They were also made to clean up after the children in the other group that were told they were inferior. 

According to the Liningers, their ten-year-old daughter was hurt and confused by the elementary school segregation experiment. The student said the controversial experiment made her and other classmates cry. But that wasn’t the only issue parents like the Liningers had with this experiment. 

The bigger issue, according to parents, was the lack of transparency. Brandi Lininger told the news channel that the elementary school alerts parents on nearly everything else but important controversial segregation experiments. “They send us notes and newsletters about everything else. Your child is going to see The Polar Express and its pajama day on Friday before winter break, and we get no notice that they’re going to do a social experiment on segregation,” Brandi Lininger detailed. News 4 also spoke with another parent at Leon Springs Elementary that wished to remain anonymous. The parents confirmed the Lininger’s story and said they contacted local news outlets because the school district refused to notify parents. The anonymous parents were afraid there may be parents still unaware of what happened in the classroom.


News 4 San Antonio attempted to reach out for an interview with the school district. They declined, however, they did respond with a statement on the segregation experiment. In their message, the district failed to acknowledge the biggest issue that dealt with the lack of transparency and warning to parents. However, they did take the time to mention that the district received “positive feedback” from several parents. Ultimately though, the district agreed that the experiment was not age-appropriate. See the full statement below:

“The activity and video in question were part of a larger fifth-grade project-based lesson around the inequity of segregation . . . While the campus did receive positive feedback from several parents . . . District and campus administration recognize the parent’s concerns and agree that the activity and video are not age-appropriate and will not be used again.”

Northside Independant School District

The problem parents at Leon Springs Elementary have with this issue isn’t in regards to teaching about segregation and race. Most parents spoken with agreed that children do need to learn about racism and civil rights. But they still feel the elementary school went way too far and moreover, acted in an absurd manner by not even warning parents what was going to take place in the classroom. 

To this day, Jane Elliott’s segregation experiment is discussed in classrooms. However, it is rare to see a school actually copycat the experiment on their students. With that being said, even Elliott herself believes the segregation and race battle in America is far from over. “It’s happening every day in this country, right now,” Elliot said in an interview recently. “We are repeating the blue-eyed/brown-eyed exercise on a daily basis.” Whether or not we actually are repeating history again, it still fails to explain the bigger issue parents like the Lininger’s have with public schools: transparency and critical race theory.