Atlanta parent Kila Posey has filed a federal complaint against her child’s elementary school claiming that it segregated children by race.
Posey said the principal of Mary Lin Elementary School, Sharyn Briscoe, believed the practice was in the best interest of the students, according to WSB-TV 2.
“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.”
According to Posey, the school placed Black students in two separate classes with two separate teachers and the white kids were placed in six classes with six different teachers.
Here is more on this story, per WSB-TV 2:
The parent said she found this out when she let Briscoe know she wanted her child placed in the classroom of a teacher she thought would be a good fit.
Posey said the principal told her that wouldn’t work.
“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 said she insisted her child be placed in a class with white students. She said Briscoe explained her child would be isolated.
“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.
The Poseys recorded a call with an assistant principal where they complained about the segregated classes. The administrator confirmed it was the principal’s decision and seemed to offer an explanation for why the classes were set up this way.
“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.
Posey’s lawyer said the practice at Mary Lin is a violation of Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. She has filed a complaint with the Department of Education, which is investigating the matter.
When WSB-TV 2 reached the Atlanta Public Schools about Posey’s allegations, they released this statement:
“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.”
Posey said she wants the school leadership removed for carrying out this practice.
“My community, had they known about this, would probably be extremely upset,” she said. “Not just the Black parents but also white parents.”