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Massachusetts Families Sue School For Excluding White Students and Banning ‘Blue Lives Matter’ Banner

The parents say the district policies forced their children to 'self-censor out of fear of punishment'

Three Massachusetts families filed a federal lawsuit against Wellesley Public Schools for allegedly violating their students’ constitutional rights.

According to the suit filed by the nonprofit organization Parents Defending Education, the school district held a racially segregated event and prohibited white students from attending, thereby violating the Constitution’s Equal Protection Clause. The suit also claims the district’s policy on biased speech violates the First Amendment.

“In one instance, the lawsuit says the district allegedly told students that the phrase ‘Blue Lives Matter’ in support of law enforcement is associated with white supremacy,” reports CBS Boston.

“This is not how public schools that operate with public tax dollars should be conducting themselves,” Nicole Neily, president of Parents Defending Education, said in a statement. “It is fundamentally un-American to discriminate against students or separate students, segregate students, treat them differently, on the basis of race. It’s un-American and also it’s unconstitutional.”

In addition to the school district, the lawsuit also names Superintendent of Wellesley Public Schools David Lussier, Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Charmaine Curry, Principal of Wellesley High School Jamie Chisum, and Principal of Wellesley Middle School Mark Ito as defendants.

The officials created “racial affinity groups” for students of color and implemented biased speech that shames people into silence, the complaint contends.

“Nearly seven decades of Supreme Court precedent have made two things clear: Public schools cannot segregate students by race, and students do not abandon their First Amendment rights at the schoolhouse gate,” states the complaint. “WPS is flouting both of these principles.”

In March, “Wellesley Public Schools hosted a conversation for students of color about the Atlanta mass shootings that killed eight people, including six Asian American women,” per The Boston Globe.

“This is a safe space for our Asian/Asian-American and Students of Color, *not* for students who identify only as White,” a teacher in the district wrote in an email about the event.

The lawsuit says that this event and the existence of racial affinity groups created segregation in the schools and violated the 14th Amendment, which grants equal protection to all people.

“In the lawsuit, the Wellesley families said their children are wary of expressing opinions about abortion, race, affirmative action, and gender identity. All lodged complaints that students’ speech was policed in class. One alleges their child was assaulted at school after students found out their parent voted Donald Trump,” per The Globe.

The school district has not publicly commented on the lawsuit at this time.

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