Letter: McKinley a draw for student

I am responding to a recent article by Charles Lussier: “Magnet students crowding gifted out of BR High.”

I have been a gifted student since pre-K. I attended Baton Rouge Magnet High as a freshman, then transferred to McKinley High, where I am a junior.

Does anyone else see the discrepancy? Parents of students in the GIFTED program are “scrambling” to find new options after being wait-listed at the MAGNET school. Gifted and magnet are two different programs. It is now the norm for students who have been in the gifted program throughout elementary and middle school to go to magnet high school.

Why not continue into the gifted program? Gifted middle school students (such as my younger sister) are happy with the gifted program and are not itching to leave. There are no push factors; there is only the pull of the illustrious Baton Rouge High.

If gifted students followed the intended path and attended McKinley or Woodlawn, these schools would have larger, more impressive programs. BRMHS’ favorable reputation comes from, in large part, the gifted students that it has been attracting.

It is highly unlikely for masses of gifted families to actually make the switch back to gifted programs, but I would love to see less prejudice amongst middle school students and parents alike. McKinley is not a place to send your child when all else fails or a hellhole with weekly shootings.

Choosing McKinley was the best decision I’ve ever made, and I encourage all gifted middle schoolers to think of it as more than just an “alternative” to Baton Rouge High.

Anna Sheffield

student, McKinley Senior High School

Baton Rouge