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Elementary school under investigation after principal accused of segregating students into classrooms based on race
Image Source: WSB-TV video screenshot

Elementary school under investigation after principal accused of segregating students into classrooms based on race

On November 14, the Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights launched a federal investigation into an Atlanta elementary school following allegations made by a parent that the principal was segregating students into certain classrooms based on race, CNN reported.

The Office for Civil Rights wrote in a letter obtained by the news outlet that it would investigate the accusations that Atlanta Public Schools subjected students “to different treatment based on race” and whether the district retaliated against the parent’s complaint.

The investigation into the district was launched over a year after Kila Posey, a mother of two, filed a civil rights complaint against Mary Lin Elementary School.

Posey, a black woman, told CNN in a September 2021 interview that Principal Sharyn Briscoe, also a black woman, was segregating black children into certain classrooms.

At the time, Posey explained that she discovered Briscoe had designated two of the six second-grade classes for black students when she requested that her daughter be moved to a particular teacher’s classroom.

In an interview with WSB-TV last year, Posey alleged that Briscoe responded by telling her that the class she wanted her daughter in was “not one of the black classes.” According to Posey, Briscoe said that her child would be isolated.

“First, it was just disbelief that I was having this conversation in 2020 with a person that looks just like me — a black woman,” Posey said. “It’s segregating classrooms. You cannot segregate classrooms. You can’t do it.”

According to the original complaint filed by Posey, the school’s assistant principal admitted in a recorded phone call that she was aware Briscoe had separated the students. In the recorded call, the assistant principal can be heard stating that “class lists are always tough” and that she wished more black children were attending the school.

Following the allegations, the head of the Atlanta Public Schools’ Office of Communications and Public Engagement, Ian Smith, told CNN that corrective measures were taken and that the matter was closed.

“Atlanta Public Schools does not condone the assigning of students to classrooms based on race,” said Smith.

Since then, Posey filed a second complaint against the district on August 29, 2022. Posey stated that she was fired from her position as an after-school care provider for the district. According to Posey, the termination was a “retaliation for raising the issue of segregation.”

Posey noted that she does not believe that the school has continued to separate students based on race.

“My understanding is that they had changed to some degree, but there were rooms that were not diverse,” she noted.

The district told CNN, “Atlanta Public Schools has received notice from OCR that a complaint was filed, and the district is following OCR’s process. Given that this matter is pending before a federal administrative agency for consideration, APS has no further comment.”

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Candace Hathaway

Candace Hathaway

Candace Hathaway is a staff writer for Blaze News.
@candace_phx →