OCR Complaint: Jackson Public School District

OCR Complaints

On May 16, 2022, Parents Defending Education (PDE) filed a federal civil rights complaint with the U.S. Department of Education against Jackson Public School District in Jackson, Michigan for discrimination on the basis of race, color, or national origin in programs or activities that receive Federal financial assistance in violation of both Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VI), 42 U.S.C. § 2000d et seq., and the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.

PDE makes this complaint as an interested third-party organization that opposes racial discrimination and political indoctrination in America’s schools. Attached to this complaint is supporting evidence in the form of an equity audit conducted by Ajusted Equity Solutions in 2019 (Exhibit A).

Ajusted Equity Solutions’ audit was conducted through both quantitative and qualitative research analysis – specifically, survey administration and online data analysis. The audit’s findings reveal problems in the district that merit investigation.

The report’s conclusion asserts “The Equity Audit conducted for your district revealed institutionalized inequities between the educational experiences and well being of students in the district. In addition to perceiving differences in access to academic opportunities, the audit also documented that some students felt unsafe and targeted for disciplinary actions in their schools and classrooms.” (Exhibit A, page 66) It noted that “minoritized” students “feel marginalized within the district where White culture is celebrated as the norm and reinforced with an overall colorblind approach by many teachers in the classroom.” (Exhibit A, page 67)

Perhaps most shockingly, the audit also says “In your district, minoritized students expressed that they are not treated equally within the school system, and at times students are labeled into categories they are unable to discard. Many White students reported that, in their view, teachers discriminated against minoritized students in their classes. Some students reported that they were often teased or shamed for speaking their native language among their friends. This Equity Audit data strongly aligns with other district data that suggests the presence of discriminatory practices, such as academic and disciplinary disparities,” (Exhibit A, page 69) and recommends that “[s]chool and district leadership must be more explicit about resisting oppression of minoritized students both in words and action.” (Exhibit A, page 70)