Principal Assigned Black Students To Classes Based On Race, Parents Allege

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A federal investigation has been launched into an Atlanta elementary school where parents of Black students say their children were assigned to certain classes based on race.

According to CNN, the Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights is investigating allegations of racial discrimination at Atlanta Public schools and whether its students were subjected “to different treatment based on race.”

Parent Kila Posey alleged that Mary Lin Elementary School Principal Sharyn Briscoe, who is Black, designated Black students to be placed in only two of six second-grade classes without the consent of their families — Their white counterparts were free to be assigned to any of six classrooms, according to Posey.

Posey previously told CNN that she was made aware of the designation, which allegedly occurred during the 2020-2021 school year, after she requested her child be put in a specific teacher's class. Posey said school officials told her it wasn't a "Black class" and that there wouldn't be any other students who looked like her child in the class.

According to reports, one administrator acknowledged the practice, saying "class lists are always tough” and that she wished the school had more Black students. 60 of the school's 599 students are Black.

The Office for Civil Rights said it will also be determining whether the school district retaliated against Posey when they fired the parent from her role as an after-school care provider.

Responding to the allegations, Atlanta Public Schools said in a statement: “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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