Education Department Flooded with Discrimination Complaints Rooting From Strong Racial Divide

Close to 19,000 discrimination complaints rolled into the Education Department over the last fiscal year, more than double from the previous year.

While many schools are settling in to a “new normal” after the pandemic, and as heavy racial divide persists, most complaints addressed discrimination regarding disability or sex, but were heavy on race, The New York Times reported.

The Assistant Secretary of Civil Rights, Catherine Lhamon, said the complaints are both “encouraging and sobering.”

“It reflects the confidence in the Office for Civil Rights as a place to seek redress,” Lhamon says.

“At the same time, the scope and volume of harm that we’re asking our babies to navigate is astronomical.”

Here are a few examples of some complaints seen by the education department. In Iowa, a white student mocked the 2020 murder of George Floyd by kneeling on a Gatorade bottle and said, “It can’t breathe,” harassing a Black student present.

On top of reform and formal discrimination training for staff, the school also agreed to reimburse the student’s parents for therapy fees.

The NAACP also submitted a complaint against the upper-class Carroll Independent School District in Southlake, TX. The report claimed that Black students were subjected to racial and anti-gay slurs, one escalating to violence. After thoughts of suicide, the student and the family pulled out of the district.

While these issues may have been buried for a while, experts decided to take a deep dive into some of the diversity and inclusion efforts after the murder of Floyd.

Nicole Nicely, founder of Parents Defending Education told The New York Times, “The shift toward race-conscious policies means that schools are consciously injecting race into things, when we believe they should not be.”

Other examples include white students defacing photos of other students using swastikas and making “Heil Hitler” salutes in Arizona, Axios reports. 

Advocates in Colorado rallied together for disabled students after feeling segregated from their peers in rundown trailers. Many civil rights groups place the blame on former President Donald J. Trump, referring to his antics of “patriotic education,” including erasing the history of slavery, book banning, and challenging diversity programs.

A full report will be released by the Education Department in the next few months.