By Guy Page
A parents group called Parents Defending Education (PDE) has filed suit against the Shelburne Community School, claiming its BIPOC Affinity Group is not open to all students and thus violates the federal 1964 Civil Rights Act.
BIPOC stands for ‘Black, Indigenous, and People of Color.’ White-skinned people are not BIPOC.
Its website says PDE is “a national grassroots organization working to reclaim our schools from activists promoting harmful agendas.” The organization has highlighted similar complaints against Burlington, South Burlington, and Essex schools. But the action taken against the Preschool-K-8th grade public school serving Shelburne in the Champlain Valley School District.
PDE stated this week:
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.
The CVSD has a six-member Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Department. LaShawn Sells is the SCS staffer.