Atlanta Elementary School Under Federal Investigation; Parents Allege Students Assigned Class By Race

The Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights is investigating if students were subjected “to different treatment based on race.”

The U.S. Department of Education is investigating if students at an Atlanta elementary school were assigned specific classrooms based on race.

According to CNN, parent Kila Posey alleged that the principal of Mary Lin Elementary School designated two second grade classes for Black students without the consent of their families. White students were able to be placed among all six of the second grade classrooms.

Principal Sharyn Briscoe, who is Black, allegedly acknowledged the practice which was said to have occurred during the 2020-2021 school year.

Posey interviewed with CNN in 2021 where she said that she was made aware of the designation after she requested that her child be placed in a certain teacher’s class—however, she was told that it was not a “Black class.” She was also told that there would be no one who looked like her child in the class.

According to the report, another administrator also acknowledged the practice saying that “class lists are always tough,” and that she wished that the school had more Black students. The school has 599 students—of those, 60 are Black.

The Office for Civil Rights will also be investigating if the school district retaliated against Posey after she was fired from her role as an after-school care provider for the district.

In response to the claims, the district sent CNN a statement that read, “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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