Federal officials investigate allegations of racial bias favoring Latinos at Richmond H.S.
RICHMOND, Calif. (KTVU) - United States Department of Education Office for Civil Rights has three investigations at West Contra Costa Unified School District dealing with racial discrimination.
KTVU has obtained information with paperwork that supports students at Richmond High School used the N-word without disciplinary action from administrative officials.
Members of the Civil Rights unit are talking to staff and students about allegations of racial issues at Richmond High School.
"I get my daughter come home saying, ‘Mom the math teacher, they don't pay attention to me’. It seems like they only pay attention to maybe the Hispanic kids," says parent Myisha Dozier.
As school let out at Thursday you could see a diverse group of students attend the campus. But some students say the growing Latino population in the community is leading them to feel excluded.
"We feel like the school kind of adversities the Mexican or Hispanic race more than they do any other race that is at this school," says De'oshjanae Bernstine a sophomore at the school.
"Some of the students feel that the Mexican kids here want to make everything about them and the Mexicans think that the black kids want to make everything about them," says sophomore Ajahnay Cooper.
Other students we talked to agreed, saying the issue isn't really with the students but the administration showing bias. "We don't feel included we don't feel like a part of this school," says Bernstine.
We asked one parent if she'd share her concerns with the administration. "I talked to the principal where they referred me to the black student union guy, who is I guess here for any African American students who are having issues," says Dozier.
Students we spoke with say they are upset that there is a divide in the school. Some pointed to this year’s prom as an example. "They're having a Mexican band there and the black kids don't feel comfortable with that. Because they want something for them too," says Cooper.
"We already told them that we didn't like it so them having a La Banda at the prom we feel kind of disrespected in a way," says Bernstine.
"I'm for all children don't get me wrong. It just I feel like a small percentage of the African American kids are getting left behind," says Dozier.
The students say they don't want anyone to feel unwanted or not included. They just want the administration to treat everyone fairly. One student says she's caught in the middle because she's bi-racial being half Latino and half Black.
"We can't make society better if we keep going back and forth and we need to work together because we're the two races having the bigger problems," says Cooper.
West Contra Costa Unified School District did respond with the following statement, “Representatives from the U.S. Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights, arrived at Richmond High School on Thursday, April 13, to speak with administrators, teachers and students. OCR representatives will return on Friday, April 14.
The District looks forward to continued cooperation with OCR and welcomes any recommendations to help improve on its work of providing equal educational opportunities for all students.”