Friday, October 22, 2021

'CLASS ACTION' - Parents Sue Wellesley Public Schools for Imposing Segregation and Discrimination on Students

Source: WSJ

Published: October 19, 2021

By: The Editorial Board

Critical race theory dominates college campuses these days, but parents are fighting its spread to K-12 education. Three Massachusetts families are suing Wellesley Public Schools over woke policies they say violate their children’s rights.

“Nearly seven decades of Supreme Court precedent have made two things clear: Public schools cannot segregate students by race, and students do not abandon their First Amendment rights at the schoolhouse gate,” says the suit filed in federal court Tuesday afternoon by the nonprofit Parents Defending Education. The suit says Wellesley Public Schools “is flouting both of these principles.”

Wellesley has promoted “affinity groups” that hold events for specific races. Parents Defending Education alleges these groups are racially exclusionary “by definition and design,” given that “certain Wellesley students” including the plaintiffs’ children “are prohibited from participating in certain school activities because of their race and ethnicity.” The parents say this violates the Civil Rights Act and the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.

The parents group raised similar concerns earlier this year in a complaint to the federal Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights, but the agency hasn’t acted. In May Wellesley superintendent of schools David Lussier and director of diversity, equity and inclusion Charmie Curry told us that no students or staff were barred from participating.

But email correspondence obtained by the nonprofit Judicial Watch and cited in the complaint adds credence to the Wellesley parents’ worries. After a March 2021 shooting in Atlanta that killed several Asian women, Ms. Curry promoted a “Healing Space for Asian and Asian American Community.” A white teacher asked whether it was “appropriate for me to go.” Ms. Curry responded that “this time, we want to hold the space for the Asian and Asian American students and faculty/staff.”

Parents say a seventh grader received an email that described the healing space as “for our Asian/Asian-American and Students of Color, *not* for students who identify only as white” and added, “if you need to know more about why this is not for White students, please ask me!” The complaint says that “other middle school teachers sent similar messages to their students.” Mr. Lussier and Ms. Curry didn’t respond to a request for comment.

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