The U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights will investigate allegations of racial discrimination at Mary Lin Elementary School in Candler Park.

According to a report from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Atlanta Public Schools’ Superintendent Lisa Herring was notified on Nov. 14 that the agency will open the investigation following a complaint filed in 2021.

The agency will look into whether Mary Lin Elementary School students were subjected “to different treatment based on race” and whether the district retaliated against Kila and Jason Posey and their daughter for making the complaint, according to records obtained by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

APS issued a statement saying it is following the civil rights office’s process.

”Given that this matter is pending before a federal administrative agency for consideration, APS has no further comment,” the statement said.

Parent Kila Posey filed the federal complaint alleging that Black second-grade students were being separated from white students in different classrooms – a practice Posey said was instituted by Principal Sharyn Briscoe. Both Posey and Briscoe are Black.

According to the complaint, Posey discovered the practice after she tried to have her second grader moved to a different classroom with a teacher she thought would be a better fit for her daughter.

Posey said in an interview with WSB-TV that Briscoe told her it wouldn’t be possible to move her daughter because it wasn’t “one of the Black classes.” Posey said she was unwilling to go along with the “illegal and unethical practice,” and also submitted audio recordings of conversations with administrators about the issue.

According to CNN, Posey filed a second complaint in August 2022 after she was fired from her role as an after-school care provider for the district, claiming her firing was “retaliation for raising the issue of segregation.”

The controversy over the issue caused division in the school, with some Black parents claiming Posey’s allegations were untrue.

Collin Kelley

Collin Kelley has been the editor of Atlanta Intown for two decades and has been a journalist and freelance writer for 35 years. He’s also an award-winning poet and novelist.