An Atlanta elementary school principal segregated its students based on race and one mom isn’t having it.
Kila Posey filed a discrimination complaint with the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights after claiming Principal Sharyn Briscoe of Mary Lin Elementary School put a segregation policy in place. Apparently, she thought it was best for all students.
Posey told local WSB-TV, “We’ve lost sleep trying to figure out why would a person do this.” She and her attorney, Sharese Shields, believe the segregation policy is a violation of federal law.
“Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 says that you cannot treat one group of people differently based upon race, and that is what is going on at Mary Lin,” Shields said.
The mother protested the policy last year when she found out the school would be putting Black students into two different classrooms with two different teachers and white students into six classrooms with six different teachers.
“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.”
Posey, who serves as vice president for the parent teacher association, first learned of the policy after she contacted Briscoe to request classroom change for her daughter. She wanted her in a specific class with a specific teacher. According to Posey, Briscoe told her that wouldn’t work because that teacher’s classroom was for Black students.
“I explained to her she shouldn’t be isolated or punished because I’m unwilling to go along with your illegal and unethical practice,” Posey said.
She and an assistant principal spoke about the policy on a recorded call. The administrator confirmed classroom segregation was Briscoe’s idea.
“I just wish we had more Black kids, and then some of them are in a class because of the services that they need,” the administrator said.
The Atlanta Public School District told WSB-TV in a statement, “Atlanta Public Schools does not condone the assigning of students to classrooms based on race. The district conducted a review of the allegations. Appropriate actions were taken to address the issue and the matter was closed.”
The district did not disclose how matters were handled. Posey wants Principal Briscoe and the administrators fired for allowing the segregation policy to be in place.
The issue is currently under investigation by the U.S. Department of Education.