An independent investigation has been launched to examine alleged acts of racism and discrimination at a prestigious Boston school, according to authorities.
U.S. Attorney Carmen Ortiz announced on Wednesday that the Civil Rights Unit for the U.S Attorney’s Office for the District of Massachusetts is beginning to look into the alleged civil rights violations at the Boston Latin School.
According to Ortiz, on Feb. 26 eight civil rights organizations and community members — including the ACLU of Massachusetts, the Boston Branch of the NAACP, and the Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights and Economic Justice — submitted a joint written complaint to her office that raised concerns about racial harassment and discrimination, among other things, at the school.
“We will conduct a thorough investigation into the recent complaints about racism at BLS and will go where the facts lead us. Once our investigation is complete, we will share our findings at the appropriate time,” Ortiz said.
Among the allegations, according to the Boston Herald, was a November 2014 incident when a non-black male student called a black female student the “n-word” and mentioned lynching while holding an electric cord.
Others include racial social media comments posted by students following the Ferguson police shooting; a black student being suspended for making remarks that were seen as racial insensitive to white students; and off-campus offenses which led to suspension proceedings towards black students but not white students, the Boston Herald reported.
Mayor Marty Walsh and Superintendent of Public Schools Tommy Chang released a joint statement welcoming Ortiz’s announcement and voicing their cooperation throughout the investigation.
“We continue to work on launching an independent investigation that will look deeper into any allegation, the culture at Boston Latin School and make recommendations on how the district should move forward. It is always our top priority that all schools provide respectful and accepting learning environments and we welcome working in collaboration to reach a positive outcome for the kids,” they said in the statement.