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Top North Carolina high school slapped with civil rights investigation for race-based program

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Leroy N. Soetoro

Jul 6, 2023, 3:34:09 PM7/6/23

EXCLUSIVE — The Department of Education has opened a civil rights
investigation into a top-ranked North Carolina high school over alleged
racial discrimination.

In a letter obtained exclusively by the Washington Examiner, the Education
Department's Office for Civil Rights confirmed an investigation had been
opened into the North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics.


Education advocacy organization Parents Defending Education filed a
complaint with the OCR in May, alleging the school's "Step Up to STEM"
summer program discriminates on the basis of race by only seeking
applications from black, Hispanic, and Native American students.

"Another day, another investigation into one of the nation's most
celebrated high schools," PDE Vice President Caroline Moore told the
Washington Examiner. "While we are grateful the Department of Education is
taking our OCR complaint about North Carolina School of Science and
Mathematics seriously, it remains troubling that one of the best high
schools in the country unabashedly discriminates on the basis of race."

The program is aimed at honing the math, science, technology, and
communication skills of rising ninth and 10th graders, but the program was
"open by application to eighth grade African American, Hispanic American,
and Native American students who live in North Carolina."

NCSSM, which is consistently ranked one of the top high schools in the
country, takes federal funding and could lose it if the Education
Department finds its practices racially discriminatory.

"It is unconscionable that students must navigate issues such as
discrimination based on the color of their skin in their academic lives,
as opposed to prioritizing their rigorous course load," Moore said.

The OCR investigation does not mean the office has made a determination on
the merits of the allegations.

"During the investigation, OCR is a neutral fact-finder, collecting and
analyzing relevant evidence from you, the School, and other sources, as
appropriate," the OCR letter states.

NCSSM did not respond to a request for comment from the Washington

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