Patterico's Pontifications

8/11/2021

Parent Files Complaint Against School Claiming That Principal Segregated Classrooms

Filed under: General — Dana @ 11:36 am



[guest post by Dana]

I hope this story gets a lot of attention because it’s an important story that I don’t think should be shied away from, or worse, ignored:

An Atlanta mom filed a federal complaint against her daughter’s Atlanta elementary school after she learned that the school was separating students on the basis of race.

In the discrimination complaint filed with the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights, parent Kila Posey claims the principal at Mary Lin Elementary School, a K-5 school in the Atlanta Public Schools system, put a segregation policy in place because she thought it was best for all students…

Posey found out last year that the elementary school would be putting Black students in two different classrooms with two different teachers and white students into six classrooms with six different teachers.

Per her attorney Sharese Shields:

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.

What makes it all the more startling is that the principal, Sharyn Briscoe, who allegedly made the decision to separate students by race, is herself a Black woman:

Posey protested the policy when it was allegedly put into place by Principal Sharyn Briscoe last year. “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.”

Interestingly, it appears that the principal made the decision to segregate classrooms without notifying parents. If she had, there can be no doubt that it would be more than just one parent complaining:

Posey, who is vice president of operations for the parent teacher association, according to the school website, first learned of the separation after she contacted Briscoe to request that her daughter be placed in a specific classroom with a certain teacher. Briscoe replied by saying that would not work because the teacher’s classroom wasn’t for Black students, Posey claims.

“She said that’s not one of the Black classes, and I immediately said, ‘What does that mean?’ I was confused. I asked for more clarification. I was like, ‘We have those in the school?’ And she proceeded to say, ‘Yes. I have decided that I’m going to place all of the Black students in two classes,’” Posey said.

Posey pushed for her daughter not to be placed in a segregated classroom. “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.

In a recorded phone call between Posey and an assistant principal, the administrator confirmed that it was the principal’s idea to separate the students.

“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.

Atlanta Public Schools released a statement about the incident. Clearly they want people to move on from the story:

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.

While the district may not condone assigning students to classrooms based on race, it happened. So exactly what appropriate actions were taken? How are they guarding against something like this happening again in the Atlanta school district? Why aren’t district officials going out of their way to reassure parents that this was a one-off? But what I find most significant about the district’s statement is that the district did not defend the principal nor did the district refute Posey’s claims. And I think she is absolutely correct in this:

My community, had they known about this, would probably be extremely upset. Not just the Black parents but also white parents.

As they should be. Posey wants to see the principal, and district administrators fired for allowing classroom segregation to take place in her child’s school. And why shouldn’t they be? This was a monumentally bad decision. Every parent of any color should be offended by the principal’s decision to segregate classrooms and to keep it from them. What an immoral and disheartening message to send children, and what a slap in the face to parents. If the school is willing to make such a monumentally bad decision without parental notification, what other decisions might they be making about which parents are unaware?

–Dana

25 Responses to “Parent Files Complaint Against School Claiming That Principal Segregated Classrooms”

  1. Hello.

    I intentionally did not bring CRT into the discussion because I cannot confirm if and how that actually played any part in this poor decision-making.

    Dana (174549)

  2. Atlanta. There are two good teachers in the whole school and the black principal wanted the black students to have them. Perfectly understandable. She is a credit to her community.

    nk (1d9030)

  3. Peak Woke Stupidity will be something to behold.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  4. Forget it, Cletus, it’s Atlantatown…

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  5. This isn’t CRT, this is white separatism meeting black separatism, both of which have a long history. I see this as an attempt at “separate but equal” in a way that might actually result in equal. Not all blacks favored MLK’s integration ideas and I think some blacks today want to maintain the ghetto.

    Much as the Spanish-language classes in some areas maintained separate cultures in the schools.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  6. So it looks like it is okay to segregate when Democrats and/or minorities initiate it. Got it.

    I expect the media to hold Biden accountable for this, as they would have if Trump were president. Lol. Just kidding. They will blame it on Trump and/or Republicans.

    Hoi Polloi (ade50d)

  7. With what would appear to be a white:black ratio of 6:2 (if student teacher ratio was same for each classroom), I had to check if this school was in Buckhead. Not quite, it’s in the hipster/gentrying Little Five Points section east of downtown. If it was Buckhead, I thought this may have been a quaint attempt by the black principal to dissuade Buckheadians from voting yes on their impending secession-from-Atlanta
    referendum.

    https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/news/buckhead-secession-group-emergency-hearings-over-plan-leave-atlanta

    urbanleftbehind (9dc562)

  8. Let’s consider a hypothetical: For the past N years the elementary school has been doing extensive /expensive pre-enrollment assessment for each child. They find that K and 1st student populations divide bi-modally, with one group already reading, or “reading ready” at age 5, while the other group is barely able to identify letters of the alphabet. Obviously, the reading group and the absolute beginners would not do well in the same classes, so separate classrooms are established for each group.

    Over the N years it’s observed that the reading group is very largely affluent kids from “gentrified” neighborhoods of single-family-dwellings, while the absolute beginners are largely from “challenged economic households” – apartments, trailer homes, maybe no regular fixed abode at all. And these groups tend to be skewed racially as well.

    So the administrator chooses to end the extensive pre-enrollment assessment and simply slots kids *by neighborhood* into what she’s pretty sure is appropriate class assignments. The money saved on assessment is diverted into remedial instructional resources.

    Problematic?

    pouncer (6c33cf)

  9. we shouldn’t worry about this cuz school boards and stuff

    JF (e1156d)

  10. Any word on what they’re doing with the water fountains?

    JVW (ee64e4)

  11. “So it looks like it is okay to segregate when Democrats and/or minorities initiate it.”

    Besides the principal, who said it was ok?

    Davethulhu (aa6793)

  12. lol, JVW.

    mg (8cbc69)

  13. RIP Donald Kagan (89).

    Kagan, who came to Yale in 1969, was a distinguished scholar of Ancient Greek history. His monumental four-volume history of the Peloponnesian War (1969–1987) was characterized by George Steiner as “the foremost work of history produced in North America in the 20th century.” Of the same work Joseph Manning, William K. and Marilyn M. Simpson Chair in History and in Classics, remarked, “Despite the vast mountain range of scholarship on Thucydides and the war that has been published since Kagan’s four-volume study, it remains required reading by all historians.”
    …….

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  14. Rip, are you posting open thread comments here to avoid answering my question on the actual open thread?

    BuDuh (7bca93)

  15. 10.Any word on what they’re doing with the water fountains?

    LOL you beat me to it.
    ______

    Fluoridation!

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  16. The Big Lies of my lifetime:

    Vietnam. Watergate. Reaganomics.

    And, of course, always: Lucille Ball was funny.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  17. Rip, are you posting open thread comments here to avoid answering my question on the actual open thread?

    BuDuh (7bca93) — 8/11/2021 @ 3:37 pm

    I just posted a response to you on last week’s open thread, which I assumed was dead.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  18. Besides the principal, who said it was ok?
    Davethulhu (aa6793) — 8/11/2021 @ 2:37 pm

    Re-pasted without comment:

    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.

    Hoi Polloi (998b37)

  19. Yes, I saw that. I don’t know how you can read that as approval of the principal’s actions. It also sounds like they hope this issue will go away now, which is naïve.

    Davethulhu (aa6793)

  20. Totally off topic, but the PTA has a “vice president of operations?” Does it also have a Chief Technology Officer? A General Counsel?

    lurker (59504c)

  21. Mary Lin happens to be the elementary school for my gentry liberal neighborhood in Atlanta. It has a good reputation — enough so that the local highly-paid people will let their kids attend it, and people will line up to make sure their kids can register to go there.

    It has a very activist PTA. That means I am having difficulty figuring out how this particular idea got any traction without the knowledge of folks in the PTA. Plus, don’t the kids talk to their parents?

    As people have pointed out — the reporting is very strange. As is the fact I have seen almost nothing on our Nextdoor site about it. Something isn’t being told, here.

    Appalled (1a17de)

  22. 8…to answer your question, only if you are Joe Dirt or Steve Urkel

    urbanleftbehind (22dce4)

  23. Also, because it can’t wait the 36 to 48 hours for Open Thread, but at least we’re talking the same MLB market…no MTG jokes, please:

    https://twitter.com/JoeKinseyexp/status/1425644183608598529?s=20

    urbanleftbehind (4e5526)

  24. His monumental four-volume history of the Peloponnesian War (1969–1987)

    I thought those were earlier.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  25. As is the fact I have seen almost nothing on our Nextdoor site about it

    Nextdoor is a fine demonstration of the average IQ.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)


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