Parent group alleges racism at Buffalo schools

Posted at 6:00 PM, Jun 17, 2016
and last updated 2016-06-18 09:01:07-04

A parent group is concerned with equal conditions for all students in Buffalo Public Schools.

The parents say they are tired of the institutional racism they say happens at Buffalo Public Schools. There are now pushing for an investigation by the Department of Justice.

“We are asking for the Office of Civil Rights to come in and take a closer look at the issues of suspension. Take a closer look at where racism is not being confronted in our school district,” Sam Radford with the Buffalo Parent Coordinating Council said.

The group says the biggest issue is the disproportionate number of students of color being accepted into the district’s top three schools, like City Honors, compared to the high number of white students who are accepted.

“We structurally ensure white children get a top quality education, but we structurally have not made the adjustments to ensure that everybody else benefits,” Radford said.

He said the racial bias extends beyond acceptance at the criteria schools. “We live in a school district where 91 percent of our school teachers are white and they don’t send their children primarily to the schools in our community,” Radford said.

These issues have Buffalo Public Schools Officials concerned.

“We’re all concerned about complicit bias, about the type of racism that is sometimes unknown, and unspoken. I know our Superintendent (Dr. Kriner Cash) is extremely committed to making sure that we have a culture responsive school district,” Will Keresztes, Ed.D., Buffalo Public Schools Chief of Intergovernmental Affairs, Planning, and Community Engagement said.

“I’m hopeful that Dr. Cash and the school board will continue to partner with us as we look to address these issues,” Radford said.

“Because I won’t stop advocating. I won’t stop fighting until something is done,” one parent said.