Parents Defending Education (PDE), a parental rights organization, filed a civil rights complaint Tuesday to the Department of Education Office of Civil Rights (OCR) against California’s largest school district over its “black student achievement plan” that allegedly discriminates against students on the basis of race.
The complaint, obtained by the Daily Caller News Foundation, names Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) for allegedly engaging in race-based discrimination through a program designed to “directly respon[d] to the unique needs of Black students.” The “black student achievement plan” allocates resources such as “school grants” and “Historically Black Colleges and Universities Tours” within the district through a race-based tiered system, the complaint alleges.
“This District has a race-based tiered system of programming that caters to students of certain races, but discriminates against others,” Caroline Moore, vice president of PDE, told the DCNF. “Upon enrollment in this district two students of different races would be offered entirely different courses, solely based on their race. Not only is this discriminatory and illegal, it is inherently un-American and no student in this country should face limited course options because of his or her skin color.”
During the 2020-2021 school year under its “black student achievement plan,” LAUSD offered resources and benefits exclusively to students of color, the complaint alleges. Students of color were given resources such as a “Black Cultural Arts Passport” as well as exclusive “STEM Makerspace Labs” and “Parent Workshops and Community Fairs,” the complaint says.
Students of color are also given resources such as “restorative justice teachers,” “secondary counselors” and “black student union grant[s],” the complaint alleges.
The district recently came under scrutiny after parents protested a June Pride event that showed a video to elementary school children explaining that “some kids have two mommies, some kids have two daddies.” Following the protest, the school board passed a resolution which encourages schools to adopt lessons on gender identity and sexual orientation.
The “black student achievement plan” allegedly focuses exclusively on students of color and aims to “address the need for [a] culturally responsive curriculum” as well as build partnerships within the community.
From October 2021 to September 2022, civil rights complaints filed to the OCR alleging discrimination in the nation’s schools almost doubled from the previous year, with nearly 19,000 filed, according to The New York Times. A majority of the complaints filed name race and sex-based discrimination.
LAUSD did not immediately respond to the DCNF’s request for comment.
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