The U.S. Department of Education has launched an official investigation into alleged discrimination taking place at two public schools located on Chicago’s South Side.
Course offerings at Dyett High and Mollison Elementary have been slashed to the point where physical education classes are only available online.
Students and parents at the two majority African-American public schools –[…] — allege Title VI civil rights violations have taken place and that their families have been forced to “endure an education that is separate and unequal,” according to a press release from the Rainbow PUSH Coalition, a participant in the community’s call for a federal probe of conditions at the schools.
Speaking at a Tuesday press conference, Jeanette Wilson, a senior advisor to the Rev. Jesse Jackson, described the education department’s pending probe as “a major first step” toward community activists’ goal to stop the closure of the two schools, the Chicago Sun-Times reported.
“The fact that they are going to look into it at all says that some of the practices that have been accepted as normal and appropriate are now being questioned,” Wilson said, according to the paper.
Activists in the city have pointed out that students at Dyett have been forced to take art, gym, music and Spanish classes online versus a traditional classroom setting.
The students have also not been offered advanced placement or honors classes due to budget cuts.
Students at Mollison deal with a series of harsh conditions, such as overcrowding and underfunding due to school closings nearby in the mass city-wide shutdown of 50 schools approved by the Mayor Rahm Emanuel-appointed school board in 2013.
“The students of Dyett deserve better than this,” Dyett student Parrish Brown told HuffPost earlier this year. “We’re fighting to keep the school open.”
Schools in New Orleans and Newark, New Jersey are also on the Department of Education’s list of investigations regarding civil rights complaints.
What do you think about the fact that students are forced to take physical education, arts, and other courses online?
Sound off below!