Black Students Faced Widespread Racial Harassment In Kentucky Schools: DOJ

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A years-long investigation by the Department of Justice found Black students in a Kentucky school district faced "serious and widespread racial harassment" in "numerous incidents."

On Monday (June 14), the DOJ announced the conclusion of its probe into Madison County Schools, which educates roughly 11,000 students across 18 schools, per CBS News.

According to federal officials, students of color in Madison County faced racist taunts and intimidation while at school involving the use of Confederate flags and imagery as well as racial epithets including the n-word and other racial slurs and commentary. Black and multiracial students were also disproportionately disciplined at some schools, while others had "inadequate systems for recordkeeping and analysis" of disciplinary reports, the DOJ said.

The Justice Department noted that the school district failed to "consistently or reasonably" address the issues and follow its own racial harassment policies.

"No student should be subject to racial harassment, including racist taunts with the Confederate flag that are clearly intended to surface some of the harshest and most brutal periods of our country's history," Kristen Clarke, an assistant attorney general with the Justice Department's Civil Rights Division, said in a statement, adding that racism and harassment "inflicts grievous harm on young people" while also violating "the Constitution's most basic promise of equal protection."

Under an agreement reached with federal authorities, Madison County Schools has pledged to implement "significant institutional reforms" to combat racism, discrimination, and harassment.

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