UNDER INVESTIGATION OCR Complaint: Pickens Middle School

OCR Complaints

On April 21, 2022, Parents Defending Education (PDE) filed a federal civil rights complaint with the U.S. Department of Education against Pickens Middle School in Pickens, South Carolina 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 a letter that was sent from the school on April 11, 2022 signed by principal James King (Exhibit A), as well as a screen shot from an email sent to families (Exhibit B).

These exhibits reveal that Pickens Middle School planned a series of events for students on Friday, April 15, 2022, where students were invited to lunch and learn sessions with a guest speaker, Mrs. Adrienne Young, based on the students’ races. According to a screen shot from an that was sent to families (Exhibit B), the purpose of such race-based segregation was to “give Mrs. Young the chance to talk with students about how to cope with being a student in a predominantly white school.” These segregated sessions were offered for African American students, Hispanic students, and “Two or More Background” students – with no sessions offered for white or Asian students, no notification that these sessions would be open to all, nor any indication whether participation in these sessions would be voluntary.

On July 21, 2022 the U.S. Department of Education Office for Civil Rights opened an investigation into this complaint. See the letter here.