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School That Allegedly Had ‘Black’ Classrooms Now in More Trouble

Atlanta Public Schools
Atlanta Public Schools

A federal department has expanded its probe into an Atlanta school district after a parent said she was retaliated against for blowing the whistle on a school’s alleged racist practice of segregating Black students.

The probe was initially sparked when Kila Posey, a parent of a student at Mary Lin Elementary School, and her husband, a school psychologist, told the school they had a specific homeroom teacher in mind for their second-grade daughter ahead of the 2020-21 school year due to her “individual educational needs.”

However, during meetings with Mary Lin’s Assistant Principal Mary Benton and an Atlanta Public Schools officer, Posey and her husband claimed that Principal Sharon Briscoe, who is Black, told the parents that the teacher they had in mind did not teach a “Black class.”

Instead, according to a complaint Posey later filed with the federal Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights, Briscoe “attempted to persuade Mr. and Ms. Posey to place their daughter in one of these ‘Black classes,’” which made Posey feel as if the school was segregating students.

After meetings with the assistant principal and the district’s chief academic officer and complaints made to the school district’s compliance office failed to solve the issue, the Office for Civil Rights picked up the case in November 2022.

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Now, however, that federal probe is also looking into Posey’s claim that she was retaliated against for raising the alarm.

Posey, who is Black, started a daycare service in 2018 that partnered with Atlantic Public Schools, according to a retaliation complaint filed last August. However, she claims she lost the deal in 2022 after her initial complaint about racial segregation.

Posey’s after-school program, known as The Club, provided care services for students at multiple schools, including Mary Lin Elementary.

By 2021, the complaint states, Posey began to lose contracts with schools in the Atlanta Public School district, and Mary Lin began using another after-school service without ever notifying Posey. In 2022, Posey had meetings with the NAACP and the school district about her concerns.

“Less than two hours after the NAACP representatives left, Principal Briscoe terminated Mary Lin’s contract with The Club…for unspecified reasons,” according to the complaint.

“[Briscoe] informed me via email that she was not renewing my contract,” Posey told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “No reason. No anything.”

A year after filing her initial complaint, Posey filed a retaliation complaint with the federal Office for Civil Rights about how the principal treated her business.

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The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported Thursday that the office will also look into whether Posey’s daughter was discriminated against and if Posey’s husband received any form of retaliation.

In a statement Thursday, Atlanta Public Schools told The Daily Beast that it was aware of the Department of Education’s pending probe “and will address all matters directly with the department. As this is a legal issue, [Atlanta Public Schools] will have no further comment.”

Posey did not immediately respond to The Daily Beast’s requests for comment Thursday.

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