Kila Posey is the parent of an elementary age student in an Atlanta public school. And for reasons that will become obvious in a moment, it’s significant that Posey and her child are black. Recently, she asked principal Sharyn Briscoe to move her child into a classroom with a specific teacher believing that would do best there. The principal said no and the reason why confused Posey at first:
“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.
Briscoe’s plan had placed all of the black kids into two specific classes and all of the white kids into six different classrooms. Posey spoke to an assistant principal by phone about the situation and recorded the call. During the conversation, the assistant principal confirmed that the decision to segregate classrooms by race had been made by Principal Briscoe. Posey then filed a federal complaint against the school, accusing it of violating Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
At this point you might be wondering why this isn’t one of the biggest stories in the country. A principal segregating young kids by race in a public school? Is this the return of George Wallace? Is this principal some far right extremist? Well, not exactly. In fact, principal Briscoe is black which is one reason Kila Posey found the situation so confusing.
“We’ve lost sleep like trying to figure out why would a person do this,” Posey said…
“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.”
And that’s probably why this story is running on a loop at CNN and MSNBC. Atlanta Public Schools released a statement which said, “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.”
Nothing to see here. Move along please.
The Department of Education is still investigating the situation and hasn’t released any findings yet but I suspect this principal made this decision on the basis of a particular left-wing outlook, one which has been getting a lot of attention lately. If you guessed anti-racism based on principles of Critical Race Theory, you’re probably right. Maybe DOE will eventually explain it or maybe this entire story will just fade into obscurity because it’s not helpful to the movement. But you can probably imagine how this would have gone if a white principal had segregated kids. He would have become a household name on his way to unemployment. Here’s the local news report: