Parents group files complaint against Olympia School District over segregation claims

Feb 15, 2023, 5:17 PM | Updated: Feb 16, 2023, 7:00 am
Olympia School District Office (Photo courtesy of the Olympia School District)
(Photo courtesy of the Olympia School District)

Parents Defending Education (PDE), an organization built around parents’ rights in schools, filed a complaint Tuesday against the Olympia School District for creating and hosting race-segregated groups.

The complaint focuses on the school district hosting affinity groups for BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color) elementary students — excluding white students from joining in the process, according to the complaint.

“PDE makes this complaint as an interested third-party organization that opposes racial discrimination and political indoctrination in America’s schools,” the complaint read. “Olympia School District is using taxpayer funding to offer weekly affinity group programming during school hours for students of specific races that are not open to all students.”

Rantz: Elementary school bans white students from ‘safe space’ club

“Centennial Elementary in Olympia established a 5th-grade BIPOC student group that the principal says excludes white students, according to a screenshot of an email shared with The Jason Rantz Show on KTTH,” Jason Rantz wrote in an editorial that was later cited in the complaint. “The email, which the district has confirmed is real, shows principal Shannon Ritter admitting the ‘group is limited to students who identify as BIPOC.’ The club meets once a week during their lunch period, and the school is reportedly in the early stages for an additional ‘BIPOC-only’ student group for 4th graders.”

The complaint has been filed with the Department of Education Office of Civil Rights (OCR).

PDE investigates numerous claims on various education-oriented topics, including a

While the organization is nationwide, PDE investigated Seattle Public Schools last December over its “controversial ethnic studies framework” and, two weeks ago, looked into Seattle teachers’ Black Lives Matter at School Week of Action event.

Rantz: City of Olympia embraces racist segregationist meeting at taxpayer expense

Meanwhile, the Olympia School District held a board meeting last week to address the public’s concerns over funding for schools with a higher occurrence of poverty.

“The board has prioritized equitable funding, which means that some schools do receive more,” District 1 Director Maria Flores said at the meeting. “We put in a poverty multiplier for the schools that are most impacted by poverty.”

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Parents group files complaint against Olympia School District over segregation claims