Parent Group Protests Racially Exclusive School Programs

On Wednesday, a significant civil rights complaint was filed by the group Parents Defending Education (PDE) against the Illinois Math and Science Academy (IMSA) in Aurora, Illinois, for allegedly conducting racially exclusive programs. According to The Federalist, which initially reported this story, PDE accuses IMSA of violating Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment by offering activities solely for black and Hispanic students.

At the heart of the controversy is IMSA’s Brotherhood Sister Circle (BHSC), a program launched in 2019. BHSC is described as a nurturing ground for “Culturally, Linguistically, and Economically Diverse” students, aiming to educate them about America’s history of oppression and enhance their leadership skills. However, PDE’s investigation reveals that the program’s annual retreat and other activities are restricted to black and Hispanic students, raising questions about discriminatory practices in a publicly funded educational institution.

Email exchanges obtained by PDE indicate that an email from IMSA’s office of diversity, equity and inclusion, possibly overseen by Anita White and Adrienne Coleman, actively encouraged the exclusive participation of black and Hispanic students in these events. For instance, a March 2022 email highlighted a retreat specifically for black and Latinx students, while another discussed obtaining a list of emails from students of these ethnicities.

Further evidence of exclusion was seen in communications regarding the retreat’s photography. A request for black or Latinx photographers for full event coverage contrasted sharply with restrictions placed on photographers from other ethnic backgrounds, who were only allowed to cover the keynote presentation.

These revelations come on the heels of a December protest at IMSA, where students demanded more stringent actions against those with biased incident reports. Their demands included detentions, suspensions, and notifications to future colleges, highlighting a culture of intolerance and punitive measures against perceived biases.

Parents Defending Education is a national grassroots organization that champions restoring non-political, fact-based education. They argue against ideologically driven curricula, emphasizing the importance of academic rigor over divisive identity politics. They aim to combat indoctrination and promote educational environments where children can develop into well-rounded, free-thinking individuals.

Filing the complaint by PDE is a significant step in challenging what they perceive as racially discriminatory policies at IMSA. By bringing these issues to light, PDE seeks not only to address the specific case at IMSA but also to highlight a broader concern about the direction of education in America. As PDE Vice President Caroline Moore told The Federalist, the evidence suggests a “deep-seated hate toward a specific demographic,” which they argue is intolerable and must be addressed.