On May 18, 2023, Parents Defending Education (PDE) filed a federal civil rights complaint with the U.S. Department of Education against Webster Groves School District in Webster Groves, Missouri for discrimination on the basis of race and sex. The affinity group violates Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VI) 42 U.S.C. § 2000d et seq., Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 (Title IX), and the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
PDE makes this complaint as an interested third-party organization with members who are parents of school children throughout the country. PDE and its members oppose discrimination and political indoctrination in America’s schools. Webster Groves School District is offering affinity programming that is only open for individuals who both identify as females and are students of color, but not open to all. Attached to this complaint is supporting evidence in the form of a flyer titled “Webster Groves Renaissance Girls Group.”
The exhibit shows that only some students may attend meetings and associated activities of the student affinity group. The group thus excludes others — and this exclusion would be based on an individual’s immutable characteristics. Doubly so here where the “Renaissance Girls Group” discriminates based on both race and sex (Ex. A).
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 November 17, 2023 the U.S. Department of Education Office for Civil Rights opened an investigation into this complaint. See the letter here.