An Atlanta mother filed a discrimination complaint against the elementary school her children attend, alleging that the school used race as a basis for segregation.
Kila Posey, who is a black American herself, said that her family has “lost sleep” in trying to guess why someone would do this. She said that she was in complete “disbelief” that she was arguing about segregation “in 2020 with… a Black woman.” She said emphatically that “You cannot segregate classrooms… can’t do it.”
Posey said that her community would “be extremely upset” if they learned about her discovery.
Posey learned that the segregation practice was implemented last year at the Mary Lin Elementary School under the direction of principal Sharyn Briscoe.
Posey explains that Black students were place in two racially exclusive classes with different teachers, while White students got placed into six classes with as many teachers.
She only learned about the segregation while speaking to the principal about the best teacher to match her children. Briscoe reportedly responded that the teacher she thought of was not assigned to “one of the Black classes,” which immediately shocked Posey. She asked what Briscoe meant, for clarification, and the principal confirmed that she had decided to keep all Black students in two classes.
Briscoe justified her decision to Posey by suggesting that her children would feel isolated if placed in a White class.
Posey responded that her child should not “be isolated or punished” and added that she was not going to “go along with” Briscoe’s “illegal and unethical practice.”
Posey later recorded a conversation she had with one of the assistant principals, who confirmed the policy as well as the fact that it was Briscoe’s decision.
The administrator said that they “wish we had more” when it came to Black students, and added that some number of the Black student body are separated due to “services that they need.”
Now the school is facing a discrimination complaint, and Posey is seeking to remove the principal as well as her administration for allowing segregation.
Atlanta Public Schools stated that they have “conducted a review” regarding the allegations and taken “appropriate actions… to address the issue.” They say that the matter is “closed.”
But Posey isn’t finished, and hired a lawyer to pursue Briscoe and the Mary Lin school for violating Title VI of the 1964 Civil Rights Act.
Atlanta Public Schools has not disclosed the nature of the “appropriate actions” they took.
Briscoe has not responded to requests for comment.
Author: Scott Hicks