Feds to investigate mom’s claim of retaliation by Atlanta Public Schools

Credit: courtesy of Kila Posey

Credit: courtesy of Kila Posey

A federal civil rights office will investigate a retaliation complaint filed by an Atlanta Public Schools parent against the district, the office confirmed.

The dispute began in July 2021 when Kila Posey, a Mary Lin Elementary School parent, filed a complaint with the U.S. Education Department’s Office for Civil Rights. Posey said she requested a specific second-grade teacher for her daughter, but the principal, Sharyn Briscoe, said the class wasn’t one of two second-grade classes designated for Black students. Briscoe and Posey are both Black. About 10% of students at Mary Lin are Black.

Posey runs an after-school program that served several schools, including Mary Lin. She said Briscoe canceled the program’s contract before the 2022-23 school year began.

“She informed me via email that she was not renewing my contract,” Posey told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “No reason. No anything.”

Posey then filed a retaliation complaint with OCR in August, saying the move was payback for her initial complaint. She said her children will not attend Mary Lin anymore.

Credit: Mary Lin Elementary School

Credit: Mary Lin Elementary School

“We’re pulling them out next year and sending them to private schools,” Posey said.

Other than confirming the investigation, OCR would not comment.

APS issued the following statement:

“Atlanta Public Schools is aware of the U.S. Department of Education(’s) Office (for) Civil Rights’ decision and will address all matters directly with the department. As this is a legal issue, APS will have no further comment.”

OCR is also investigating whether the school’s actions concerning Posey’s daughter violated Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which bars school districts that receive federal money from discriminating based on race. Posey said that investigation includes her complaint that the school retaliated against her husband, Jason Posey, who was a school psychologist at Mary Lin. Kila Posey says he was assigned to work remotely after she informed the district that Briscoe was using race to assign students to classes. He now works for another school system.