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Atlanta mom files complaint against daughter’s school for alleged segregation of Black students

Kia Posey said that Black second graders were assigned to the school’s designated “Black classes.”

Classroom dpa/picture alliance via Getty I

A mother in Atlanta filed a civil rights complaint against her children’s grade school, which she claims is practicing segregation. As CNN reported, Kia Posey accused the Mary Lin Elementary School of making classroom selections “based upon [the] race of the students.”

As Posey explained, she approached Principal Sharyn Briscoe with a desire to get her daughter placed into the class of a reputable teacher. Unfortunately, her request was immediately denied.

“She said that’s not one of the Black classes, and I immediately said, ‘What does that mean?’ I was confused,” Posey told WSB-TV. “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.’”

Per the complaint — which was filed with the Department of Education — [the principal] “designated these Black classes without the knowledge or consent of the families of the affected Black students. Instead, she unilaterally decided what was in the best interests of the Black students, relegating them to only those classes she deemed appropriate.” On the contrary, white students were free to be placed in any of the other six second-grade classes.

Posey added that the assistant principal — who was aware of the segregation — chalked up Briscoe’s choice to the lack of Black students in the school. The Atlanta mother is now calling for the end of segregation in the classrooms and the removal of the “entire leadership team at Mary Lin.”

“The Administrators there have demonstrated poor professional judgement by instituting this discriminatory practice and subsequently engaging in retaliatory acts,” she wrote. “As such, they should not be trusted to make educational decisions for my child or any other children.”

Upon learning about the complaint, the head of the Atlanta Public Schools’ Office of Communications and Public Engagement issued a statement in which he announced that he was looking into the allegations.

“Appropriate actions were taken to address the issue and the matter was closed,” Ian Smith told CNN. “Atlanta Public Schools does not condone the assigning of students to classrooms based on race.”

The principal, however, stood by her decision, attempted to get Posey’s husband — the school’s psychologist — transferred and even threatened to cut Posey’s services from the school.

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