February 24, 2024

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Maize School District targeted by U. S. Department of Education in shared ancestry investigation

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Maize USD 266 has been advised by the federal Department of Education’s (DOE) Office for Civil Rights that it is among seven institutions in the United States under investigation for “alleged shared ancestry violations of Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VI), which prohibits race, color, or national origin discrimination, including harassment based on a person’s shared ancestry or ethnic characteristics.”

The Wichita Eagle reports the investigation involves alleged acts of Anti-Semitism and Islamaphobia.

The Sedgwick County school northwest of Wichita is the only K-12 institution among the seven being probed by DOE. The others are:

  • Lafayette College
  • Cornell University
  • Columbia University
  • Wellesley College
  • University of Pennsylvania
  • The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art

The Maize School District released the following statement and a follow-up upon notification of the investigation:

Nov. 16: Maize USD 266 can confirm that the district received an email from the U.S. Department of Education Office for Civil Rights at 6:38 p.m. on Nov. 16. A copy of the complaint was not provided to Maize USD 266 by the U.S. Department of Education Office for Civil Rights, so we are unable to make any further comment regarding this matter.

Maize USD 266 takes allegations of discrimination seriously and is committed to cooperating fully with any investigation. The school district is dedicated to providing a place for teaching and learning that prioritizes and champions respect and inclusivity and where all students and employees feel safe and valued.

Nov. 18: Maize USD 266 has yet to receive a copy of the complaint itself but now can confirm that the complaint was filed Aug. 10, 2023 with the U.S. Department of Education Office for Civil Rights. Information requested of the district referenced an unspecified allegation occurring in March 2023 at Maize South Intermediate School. Maize USD 266 is working with legal counsel through the process and reiterates that it will fully cooperate with the investigation.

Maize USD 266 takes allegations of discrimination seriously. The school district is dedicated to providing a place for teaching and learning that prioritizes and champions respect and inclusivity and where all students and employees feel safe and valued.

The Sentinel has filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request with DOE’s Office of Civil Rights for a copy of the complaint filed against the school district.

 

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