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Civil rights group files complaint against Boston Latin School


Last Friday, the Boston branch of the NAACP, the American Civil Liberties Union of Massachusetts and several other civil rights groups moved for a federal review of allegations of bias at Boston Latin School. The groups filed a five-page complaint to the office of U.S. Attorney Carmen M. Ortiz, requesting that she investigate.

The complaint was received and is under review, according to Ortiz’s office. The complaint states that parents of Boston Latin students and alums are concerned over what they perceive to be disproportionately severe levels of discipline for black students compared to their non-black peers for similar offenses. The document also alleges that a teacher greeted a black student using a racial slur, and says that the event was not investigated.

Mayor Martin Walsh’s office said the Walsh administration intends to perform an independent review of the school and seeks community input.

Earlier that week, Boston Latin School Headmaster Lynne Mooney Teta issued a letter to the school community apologizing for not having initiated efforts earlier to improve what she called the school’s “racial climate” and for a slower initial response to concerns. Her letter stated that reforms are underway. This includes measures such as the convening of a 38-student member social justice advisory committee and a new partnership with YWBoston’s Racial Justice program.

Teta said the administration is collaborating with Tommy Chang, Superintendent of the Boston Public Schools, and district leaders to enact the recommendations made by the Office of Equity in its investigative report.