A Massachusetts school district allegedly held racially segregated events that specifically excluded white students, according to a federal lawsuit filed by a non-profit group representing three families.
Non-profit group Parents Defending Education filed a lawsuit in federal court on Tuesday afternoon, arguing that Wellesley Public Schools violated the constitutional rights of their students, and also suppressed students’ First Amendment rights with its policy on biased speech, CBS Boston reported.
Court papers state that students were allegedly told by the district that the phrase “Blue Lives Matter,” which refers to law enforcement officers, is associated with white supremacy, according to the news outlet.
“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,” the lawsuit says.
Wellesley Public Schools “is flouting both of these principles,” the lawsuit states.
Nicole Neily, president of Parents Defending Education, said the group wants the school district’s policies to end.
“This is not how public schools that operate with public tax dollars should be conducting themselves,” said Neily. “It is fundamentally un-American to discriminate against students or separate students, segregate students, treat them differently, on the basis of race. It’s un-American and also it’s unconstitutional.”
The Epoch Times reached out to Wellesley Public Schools for comment but didn’t immediately hear back.
The school district on its website states that it believes it is has a “moral responsibility to welcome, celebrate and affirm the full spectrum and intersections of human differences in, and beyond our community.”
The district has an “office of diversity, equity and inclusion,” according to its website.
“We will create a culture that celebrates advocacy and pursues justice for all, especially those from historically marginalized communities,” the district’s mission statement reads. “We will practice risk-taking, and challenge one another to continuously examine systems of privilege and bias, and work collectively to disrupt and dismantle inequity in all its forms.”
Heading that office is Dr. Charmie Curry, who joined Wellesley Public Schools in September 2019, and is a member of Influence 100, an initiative launched by the state’s Department of Elementary and Secondary Education “to increase the racial and ethnic diversity of superintendents in Massachusetts, create more culturally responsive districts and leaders across the state, and promote better outcomes for students.”
“Prejudice, bias, hate and discrimination remain threats that require our vigilance and persistence to ensure that our core values are adhered to, and our mission is realized,” the school district says on its website.
An event listed on the district’s website titled “The Intersection of Anti-Black Racism and Adolescent Development” is scheduled for Oct. 28.
The district has close to 5,000 students across all grades.