Parents Defending Education President, Nicole Neily, filed the complaint with the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights, accusing the NYC school district of engaging in racial discrimination in violation of federal civil rights law.
The complaint followed a November 18 report by the New York Post that revealed a junior high school in the borough of Manhattan separated students by race to discuss “identity and social justice topics.”
“As the Department of Education is no doubt aware,” Neily wrote, “segregation on the basis of race raises concerns that the New York City Public School system has received federal funds in violation of Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which declares that ‘no person in the United States shall, on the ground of race, color, or national origin, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance.’”
“PDE makes this complaint as an interested third-party organization that opposes racial discrimination and political indoctrination in America’s schools,” the organization wrote in a letter to the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights.
“As the Department of Education is no doubt aware, segregation on the basis of race raises concerns that the New York City Public School system has received federal funds in violation of Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964,” the letter demands.
PDE said it filed the complaint after the New York Post reported an exercise scheduled for November 23 and 24 by Lower Manhattan Community School. Principal Shanna Douglas explained in an email to parents that the exercise was intended to help “undo the legacy of racism and oppression in this country that impacts our school community.”
According to that email, seventh and eighth graders could opt into “affinity groups' 'composed of Asians, whites, multi-racial students, and a single group for black and Hispanic students. A fifth affinity group was created for students who wished not to partake in the classifications.
“On November 23rd and 24th, 7th and 8th graders will explore the question ‘How do our racial identities influence our experiences?’ in affinity groups,” the email declared.
Neither the department of education nor NYC Public Schools returned a request for comment.