Asian and white parents sue Boston Public Schools to overturn exam school’s admission policy

  • An assembly of Asian and white parents filed a lawsuit on Tuesday against Boston Public Schools in hopes of having at least five of their children admitted to the elite exam schools.
  • Their children failed to secure seats due to a lack of admittance allotted to their ZIP codes under the temporary policy.
  • The temporary admission policy, in an effort to increase diversity, allowed more Black and Latino students seats while less Asian and white applicants were granted admission.
  • Boston switched to a new admissions policy this year that divides admission geographically by grouping together areas with similar socio-economic profiles.
  • The Boston school officials, who have not commented on the plaintiff’s request, have until July 19 to file their response in the appeals court.

An assembly of Asian and white parents requested the federal appeals court overturn the exam school admission policy of Boston Public Schools (BPS).  

The Boston parents filed a lawsuit on Tuesday against BPS in hopes of having at least five of their children admitted to the elite exam schools after they failed to secure seats due to a temporary admission policy in place last year.

The Parent Coalition for Academic Excellence argued that students who had earned high enough grades were deprived from admission to the Boston Latin School, Boston Latin Academy and the O’Bryant School of Math and Science due to the lack of admittance allotted to their ZIP codes under the temporary policy.

The temporary admission policy, which was an effort to increase diversity, allowed more Black and Latino students seats while less Asian and white applicants were granted admission.

While the BPS has stopped implementing the policy, they have switched to a new admissions policy this year that divides seats geographically by grouping together areas with similar socio-economic profiles.  

The parent coalition is hoping to persuade the appeals court with evidence that the School Committee intended to discriminate against Asian and white applicants. 

The evidence, which was not present when the court made its first ruling, includes text messages between two School Committee members who made “racially insensitive remarks” about white parents from West Roxbury on the day the temporary admission policy was approved. In a separate incident, the chairman was caught mocking public speakers with Asian-sounding names.

The Boston school officials, who have not commented on the plaintiff’s request, have until July 19 to file their response in the appeals court.

Lisa Green, a member of the Boston Coalition for Education Equity, said that the lawsuit is an attempt to undermine affirmative action nationwide. 

“Given the recent actions of this Supreme Court, many [in Boston] who initially considered the plaintiff’s lawsuit to be a joke now see the very real potential for a national regression on civil rights that it presents,” Green said. “Maybe another lawsuit will get there first, but it would be a tragedy if such a stain on this country were to be triggered by a handful of people here in Boston. It would drag us right back to the days of Louise Day Hicks.”

 

Featured Image via Pexels

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