Disparate Treatment of Administrators of Color (OCR Complaint)

“Our WORD is our Weapon” Subcomandante Marcos

Here is the text to the first page of 150 page complaint I mailed to OCR:

6 November 2015

DELIVERED VIA CERTIFIED MAIL: 7012 2920 0000 7124 9141
Office for Civil Rights (OCR) -Region VIII
℅ U.S. Department of Education
Cesar E. Chavez Memorial Building
1244 Speer Boulevard, Suite 310
Denver, CO 80204-3582


Re: Disparate Treatment of School Administrators of Color  


Dear OCR-Region VIII,

Acting under the authority of my elected office, and in my official capacity as a member of the Salt Lake City Board of Education (Board), [1] I submit the following Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 complaint on behalf of the students of color that I was elected to represent and on behalf of other students similarly situated. This complaint will demonstrate that Superintendent McKell Withers (Superintendent), Business Administrator Janet Roberts (Business Administrator) and Board President Heather Bennett (Board President) have discriminated against African American, American Indian, Hispanic and Pacific Islander students on the basis of race by administering district-wide employment and contract awarding practices that have a DISPARATE IMPACT on students of color within the Salt Lake City School District (District).

More specially, this complaint will outline a pervasive pattern and practice of cronyism [2] in which state and federal tax dollars are consistently diverted away from the educational programs designed for students and instead used to ensure that Caucasian associates of  the current administration are placed in positions of authority. The Board President is complicit in these actions by consistently interfering with the Boards ability to exercise its statutory authority to regulate these types of despicable acts. These actions have now risen to a level of DISPARATE TREATMENT towards the eighteen administrators of Color currently working in the District. This complaint will establish that the DISPARATE TREATMENT of ethnic minority adults in the system has a demonstrated DISPARATE IMPACT on the students of the District.

[1] Notwithstanding a local school board’s status as a body corporate, an elected member of a local school board serves and represents the residents of the local school board member’s district, and that service and representation may not be restricted or impaired by the local school board member’s membership on, or obligations to, the local school board. See Utah Code § 53A-3-401(5)

[2] Definition: Cronyism (noun) the appointment of friends and associates to positions of authority, without proper regard to their qualifications. In this complaint, the “associates” are all Caucasian

PD Version of Letter

Here is a timeline of events that led up to my needing to file a complaint with OCR. In the letter to the Superintendent (see timeline) I placed  him on notice, that if he did not seek Board approval on his “organizational restructure plan”, I would take further legal action. This is the first step – more to follow: 

Link to Timeline

YouTube Video of the last Board Meeting

















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