On January 3, 2023, Parents Defending Education (PDE) filed a federal civil rights complaint with the U.S. Department of Education against Shelburne Community School in Shelburne, Vermont 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 to 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 the school’s weekly newsletter from December 19, 2022 (Exhibit A), which promotes the creation of a “BIPOC Affinity Group.”
This exhibit reveals that Shelburne Community School is developing an “opt-in racial affinity group for students in grades 3-8 identifying as Black, Indigenous, or people of color.” Ex. A at 5. The program description does not make participation in these affinity groups open to all.
Accordingly, we ask that the Department promptly investigate the allegations in this complaint, act swiftly to remedy unlawful policies and practices, and order appropriate relief.
On April 7, 2023 the U.S. Department of Education Office for Civil Rights opened an investigation into this complaint. See the letter here.
RESOLVED: On May 1, 2023 the U.S. Department of Education Office for Civil Rights resolved the complaint stating that the school district will open the race-specific group to all students. See the letter here.