01/11/2013 12:25 GMT | Updated 23/01/2014 10:52 GMT

Tennessee High School Segregates Students At Lunch According To Grades

Tennessee High School Segregates Students At Lunch According To Grades

A US school has come under fire for "segregating" its students based on their grades, telling pupils with low scores to separate themselves from their high achieving classmates.

La Vergne, a high school in Tennessee, has stirred up a prolonged public dispute regarding procedure which divides students during lunch based on their academic ability. Students who are under achieving are told to eat lunch in a separate location away from their peers.

Paul Morecroft, the father of a special needs pupil in the 10th grade argued: "To me, it's considered separation, because you have your special needs kids and the kids getting the good grades on one side, and the kids getting below an 80 on the other side."

He then called the procedure a "civil rights violation and segregation, no doubt".

For the past two years, the statewide pilot program, which involves the practice of splitting lunch period with half academic inventions, helps students who may be struggling in a subject, said the School Leaders.

James Evans, spokesman for the Rutherford County Schools, counter argued: "They are not segregating them in the traditional sense. If the kids' scores are low in certain areas, they are getting help in that area. If you want to label that segregation, then that's not the correct way to label it."

11th grade student Ximena Jinenez who finds the program helpful added: "I don't think it's bad, it's good. We all need it. We need that little help in our lives."

Since the program has been influenced at La Vergne, it has shown that children achievement and graduation has increased from 77% to 99%, showing that the program has been successful.