These girls say a classmate’s racist taunts drove them from elite college prep program
The U.S. Department of Education is investigating allegations of racism in Mira Loma High School’s prestigious International Baccalaureate program after the National Center for Youth Law filed a civil rights complaint saying school officials did nothing when African American students were harassed and belittled because of their race.
The complaint also charges that African American students at Mira Loma are suspended at unusually high rates, and that the school has denied African American students access to educational opportunities.
The complaint was filed on behalf of Makayla Madkins and De’Ajhane Caldwell, two cousins who both attended the elite IB program at the campus in the 2016-17 school year. The two girls were among a handful of black students in the program, which was dominated by white and Asian students. They say they were continually harassed by a classmate they identified as Persian, and who is identified simply as V.B. in the complaint.
San Juan Unified School District acknowledged Tuesday that it had received a letter from the federal Office of Civil Rights requesting information. “Any concerns that have been raised to us directly we have investigated, and we will continue to work until we reach a full resolution,” said district spokesman Trent Allen.