OCR Complaint: Manhattan Beach Unified 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 Manhattan Beach Unified School District (MBUSD) in Manhattan Beach, California, 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.

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 the Center for Leadership Equity and Research (CLEAR) and subcontracted to Nancy Akhavan Educational Consulting, which was delivered to the district on August 20, 2021 (Exhibit A). The cost of the audit—$24,000—was approved at a board meeting on February 3, 2021 (Exhibits B-C). The report was discussed at a school board workshop on October 20, 2021 (Exhibit D).

The audit’s findings reveal problems in the district that merit investigation.

MBUSD’s audit states that “equity gaps persist in 4 out of the six areas: Attendance Rates for
Socioeconomically Disadvantaged (SED), Hispanic, and EL students; Suspension Rates for SED and Students w/Disabilities (Sw/D); College/Career Readiness Indicators for Hispanic students and Sw/D; and Math = African American/Black and SED students. (Exhibit A, page 23)

The audit notes that district has a culture “in which marginalized or minority groups have been implicitly excluded from opportunities to engage in the institutional practices” (Exhibit A, page 35).

Additionally, the audit states: “The way in which a teacher interacts with students is often based on bias (implicit or explicit): preconceived notions, assumptions, past experiences with students or persons like them (or perceived to be like them), personal life experiences and traditional social norms” (Exhibit A, page 36). In other words, the audit implies that teachers’ biases have so thoroughly colored their behavior that they are actively discriminating against students on an ongoing basis.