Probe demanded as school programs are just for blacks, Hispanics

(Photo by Matas Katinas on Unsplash)

A new fight over racism has erupted in Illinois over a high school’s race-based programs, which offer opportunities for studies only if they are black or Hispanic.

The complaint was filed by Parents Defending Education and charges that Illinois Math and Science Academy in Aurora, Illinois, is discriminating “on the basis of race in programs or activities that receive federal financial assistance.”

That, the complaint charges, violates both Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

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A report on the dispute at the Federalist explains the issue is “alleged racial discrimination by IMSA’s Brotherhood Sister Circle (BHSC), which provides so-called ‘Culturally, Linguistically, and Economically Diverse’ students an environment to ‘learn about the history and current system of oppression in America’ and ‘develop relational leadership skills/stereotype management to confront related issues.'”

The school’s program started several years ago, and gives IMSA’s “black and ‘Latinx'” students opportunities to “celebrate and enhance their strengths, creativity, intelligence, promote networking, community involvement, financial literacy, resources, and academic success,” the report said.

The program, the complaint accuses, discriminates against students who are not black or Hispanic.

The complaint by the parents’ organization notes that IMSA communications including emails and flyers directly promoting events for “black and Latinx students.”

The report added that an email apparently from IMSA’s director of equity and inclusion, who appears to be Adrienne Coleman, asked about a list of “emails for the black and Latinx students.”

Then came instructions to have a school official “send a letter to parents as well.”

PDE said other emails show that many retreat activities were “off-limits” to students who were not the correct race.

On March 8, 2022, a member of IMSA’s yearbook photo team emailed an undisclosed IMSA official, asking if their photographers would need to register and be “black or Latinx” to attend an event.

And another email specifically instructed that a number of “closed sessions” were exclusively for black and Hispanic students.

Promotions for events said the goal was to “provide black and Latinx students” with additional resources.

The report noted IMSA has been blatant in its agenda, demanding just months ago harsh punishment for anyone targeted by a “bias incident report.” Those punishments, it said, could include suspensions and expulsions.

PDE now is asking the Department of Education to investigate IMSA.

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