EXCLUSIVE: Department of Education Launches Civil Rights Investigation into Top-Ranked North Carolina High School
The Department of Education has recently opened a civil rights investigation into the North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics, a renowned high school, following allegations of racial discrimination. The Education Department’s Office for Civil Rights confirmed this investigation in a letter obtained exclusively by the Washington Examiner.
Education Advocacy Organization Files Complaint
Parents Defending Education, an education advocacy organization, filed a complaint with the Office for Civil Rights in May. The complaint alleges that the school’s “Step Up to STEM” summer program discriminates based on race by only accepting applications from black, Hispanic, and Native American students.
“Another day, another investigation into one of the nation’s most celebrated high schools,” expressed Caroline Moore, Vice President of Parents Defending Education. “While we are grateful that the Department of Education is taking our OCR complaint about North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics seriously, it remains troubling that one of the best high schools in the country unabashedly discriminates based on race.”
Controversy Surrounding the Program
The “Step Up to STEM” program aims to enhance the math, science, technology, and communication skills of rising ninth and tenth graders. However, the program was exclusively open to eighth-grade African American, Hispanic American, and Native American students residing in North Carolina.
As one of the top high schools in the nation, NCSSM receives federal funding, which could be at risk if the Education Department determines that their practices are racially discriminatory.
“It is unconscionable that students must face issues of discrimination based on the color of their skin in their academic lives, instead of focusing on their rigorous coursework,” Moore emphasized.
OCR Investigation and Neutrality
It is important to note that the OCR investigation does not indicate a determination on the merits of the allegations. The Office for Civil Rights acts as a neutral fact-finder during the investigation, collecting and analyzing relevant evidence from various sources, including the school itself.
As of now, the North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics has not responded to the Washington Examiner’s request for comment.
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