Posted on June 6, 2024

NY School District Apologizes for ‘Exclusionary Language’ to Promote Event for Non-White Students

Brian Flood, Fox News, June 5, 2024

A New York State school district apologized for using “exclusionary language” to promote an event for “students of color” after an anti-affirmative action group accused the educators of segregating students.

The Ithaca City School District (ICSD) promoted a Students of Color Summit 2024 on Ithaca High School’s campus that said the event was for “Students of Color in grades 6-12.” The Equal Protection Project (EPP), a nonprofit that opposes racial discrimination in any form, caught wind of this and sent a scathing letter to Superintendent Dr. Luvelle Brown and Board of Education President Dr. Sean Eversley Bradwell.

The letter, which has been obtained by Fox News Digital, featured an image of a poster used to promote the ICSD event which noted “students of color” were invited. The letter suggested that school board officials preserve records related to the event because a FOIL request would be served, and claimed an email was circulated by staffers stating that the event was “for students of color to interact with each other” and that “allies” are not invited.

“We understand in this context that the word ‘allies’ refers to White students and staff. In fact, the message goes on to invite only non-White staff, stating: ‘If you are a staff member of color and would like to attend the summit with our students, please email,’” the letter stated.

“SOCU 2024 thus appears intended to exclude Whites and to be promoted as open only to students and staff ‘of color,’” the letter continued. “This is consistent with how ICSD and IHS have run prior SOCU summits.”

The EPP letter contained evidence that past editions of the ICSD event have excluded White students, including previous board member discussions and promotional materials.

“ICSD knows that it is not permitted to segregate students by race for any reason,” the EPP stated. “Because ICSD is a public school district, these programs that discriminate based on race and skin color violate the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.”

The EPP also accused the ICSD of violating Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits the recipient of federal funds to discriminate based on race or ethnicity.

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Less than 48 hours later, the ICSD emailed all students and staffers informing them that all students were welcomed after all and apologizing for initially using “exclusionary language” to promote the event.

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The event went on as planned with students of all races being welcomed.

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