(USA Features) A black Atlanta mother has filed a federal complaint against a black female principal after discovering the elementary school administrator had been segregating students by race.
“We’ve lost sleep like trying to figure out why would a person do this,” mother Kila Posey told WSB-TV.
“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 added.
“It’s segregating classrooms. You cannot segregate classrooms. You can’t do it,” she said.
“My community, had they known about this, would probably be extremely upset. Not just the Black parents but also White parents,” Posey noted.
The mother said she filed her complaint after Principal Sharyn Briscoe told her that she had put black students and white students in their own classrooms because she determined it would be better for black students.
Posey, the vice president of operations for the Parent Teachers Association, told the media outlet that she first discovered the segregated classrooms during a conversation she had with Briscoe in which she asked that her daughter be put in a specific classroom and with a certain teacher.
She said that Briscoe told her that wasn’t going to be possible because the teacher in question was not one who had been singled out to teach black students only.
“[Briscoe] said that’s not one of the black classes, and I immediately said, ‘What does that mean?’ I was confused,” Posey recounted to 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,’” Posey noted.
Sharese Shields, Posey’s attorney, told the outlet that she believes Briscoe’s actions were gross violations of existing federal statutes.
“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 told the local outlet.
Posey added that she informed Briscoe she wanted her daughter placed with the specified teacher who had white students in her classroom.
“I explained to [Briscoe] she shouldn’t be isolated or punished because I’m unwilling to go along with your illegal and unethical practice,” Posey said.
At some point, Posey secretly recorded a conversation with an unidentified assistant principal who said that the decision to segregate students lay solely with Briscoe. The assistant principal then added, “I just wish we had more black kids, and then some of them are in a class because of the services that they need.”
Since the blow-up, the Atlantic Public Schools district has issued a statement condemning Briscoe’s actions but did not provide any specifics about disciplinary action, of any.
“Atlanta public schools does not condone the assigning of students to classrooms based on race,” district officials said a statement to WSB-TV.
“The district conducted a review of the allegations. Appropriate actions were taken to address the issue and the matter was closed.”
Reports said that the U.S. Department of Education’s Civil Rights Division is investigating Posey’s complaint.