Black mother files complaint against Atlanta elementary school for racial segregation: 'disbelief'

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A mother in Atlanta filed a federal discrimination complaint against an elementary school, alleging the school segregated students based on race. 

“We’ve lost sleep like trying to figure out why would a person do this,” mother Kila Posey, who is black, 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. It’s segregating classrooms. You cannot segregate classrooms. You can’t do it.”

“My community, had they known about this, would probably be extremely upset. Not just the Black parents but also White parents,” Posey added. 

Posey said that the practice was put in place last year at Mary Lin Elementary School by principal Sharyn Briscoe, who is also Black. 

Posey explained that Black students were put in two classes with two different teachers, while White students were put in six classes with six different teachers. 

She found out about the segregation when she asked Briscoe to place her child with a teacher who she thought would be a good fit, she recalled to the news outlet. 

“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 recounted of her conversation with Briscoe. 

The principal reportedly told the mother that her child would be isolated if they were put in a White class. 

“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.

Posey also recorded a conversation with an assistant principal, who confirmed it was Briscoe’s decision to implement the segregated classes. 

“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 on the recording.

The school now faces a discrimination complaint, which was filed with the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights. And Posey added that she wants the principal and her administration removed from their positions for the segregation. 

“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,” Posey’s lawyer, Sharese Shields said.

The Atlanta Public Schools said it conducted and wrapped up an investigation into the concerns of segregation, adding that “appropriate actions” were taken in the matter. 

“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.”

Atlanta Public Schools did not immediately respond to Fox News’s request for comment on what specific actions were taken. 

Briscoe also didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment on the matter.

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