ATLANTA - An Atlanta elementary school is under fire after a parent filed a federal discrimination complaint.
The mother claims she was told her daughter could only be placed in one of two "Black' second grade classes at Mary Lin Elementary School.
The mother claims this was specifically for second graders during the 2020-21 school year and argues this violates the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
"This is not really a Black or white issue. It’s against the law," Kila Posey said.
Posey wants the best education for her children who attend Mary Lin Elementary School in northeast Atlanta.
"As a Black parent, I’m told that I don’t have the option of six classes. I only have the option of two and that’s wrong," Posey said.
Posey and her husband filed a discrimination complaint with the U.S. Department of Education’s Civil Rights Office claiming the principal of Mary Lin made class assignments based, in part, upon, race.
"She said she was splitting the Black students and only placing them into two classes as opposed to giving them free rein of the six classes like the white students," Posey said.
The question is why?
"She said she was building community with the Black families and I explained to her that’s not your job," Posey said.
Posey said she was appalled at first because the principal is also an African-American woman.
Posey took this to other school administrators and then to the district.
The district sent a statement saying in part:
"APS does not condone assigning students to classrooms based solely on race. When we learned of allegations of this conduct occurring during virtual instruction at Mary Lin Elementary SchoolEric in August 2020, the district conducted a review and took immediate and appropriate action at that time to resolve the issue"
Posey took her issue one step further.
"We filed a complaint with the office of civil rights," Posey said.
The sworn statement submitted as evidence claims other school administrators were aware of this practice.
Additionally, Posey included audio recordings of conversations with administrators as supporting evidence.
The accusations aren’t going unnoticed among other parents.
In a joint letter, many expressed their support for the principal saying no such segregated classes exist.
FOX 5 did get access to yearbooks which shows African-American students in various classes but Posey said there’s a reason for that.
"The district decided that 2020-21 would start off virtual they would stay the same. So she didn’t change them. They stayed the same," Posey explained.
Emails to the principal and the Georgia Department of Education have not been returned.
"I’m not OK with limiting the access of students. Students that look like me. I want my girls to know they should be at the table with everyone else," she said.
The full statement by Atlanta Public Schools reads:
"Atlanta Public Schools (APS) is focused on creating high-quality, equitable teaching and learning environments in our classrooms that foster collaboration among all our students. APS has made historic investments in this area, adopting a comprehensive Equity policy and creating the Center for Equity & Social Justice. As an organization, we are committed to identifying and removing barriers to success for all our students, including our students of color.
"APS does not condone assigning students to classrooms based solely on race. When we learned of allegations of this conduct occurring during virtual instruction at Mary Lin Elementary School in August 2020, the district conducted a review and took immediate and appropriate action at that time to resolve the issue. We remain committed to preparing every student for college, career, and life."
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