Officials at the nation’s first and oldest public school didn’t sufficiently investigate racially charged incidents and failed to address racial hostility, a federal civil rights probe concluded last week.
U.S. Attorney Carmen Ortiz said the failure of Boston Latin School administrators to adequately respond to a 2014 incident in which a male student was accused of using a racial slur and threatening to “lynch” a black female classmate while holding an electric cord amounted to a violation of Title IV of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
The school’s response to other allegations of racial hostility didn’t rise to the level of civil rights violations but demonstrated that officials “paid insufficient attention to issues of race, the concerns of students of color, and the school’s racial climate in recent years,” Ortiz’s office concluded.
Boston public schools Superintendent Tommy Chang said the district has entered an agreement with Ortiz’s office to ensure racial-discrimination complaints are handled better at Boston Latin, a prestigious exam school founded in 1635.
A version of this article appeared in the October 05, 2016 edition of Education Week as U.S. Faults Boston Latin On Handling of Racial Issues