Following a civil rights complaint, Roseville Area High School scrapped “priority” entry for non-white students and members of its Black Student Union (BSU) to a “know your rights” training event.
The high school’s media center initially sent an email Dec. 16 informing parents about a Dec. 20 student training event that discussed “navigating police encounters involving yourself — or others, in a way that protects your rights and helps keeps you safe.”
Led by Michelle Gross, co-founder and president of local activist group Communities United Against Police Brutality, the training event, capped at 50 students, gave “first priority” to BSU members and “BIPOC students,” which stands for “Black, Indigenous, and People of Color.”
But then in an updated Dec. 19 email, the media center removed the reference to “BSU and BIPOC students [being given] first priority,” only specifying that “space is limited to 50 students” instead.
Alpha News learned that a federal civil rights complaint was filed against Roseville Area High School over the event roughly 24 hours before parents received the updated email. The complaint alleged that the event violated Title VI of the Civil Rights Act, which bans racial discrimination in federally-funded activities and programs.
In an email to the complainant obtained by Alpha News, Roseville Area Schools Superintendent Jenny Loeck said the district worked with its attorney to “find a resolution in the language” of the email.
John Kysylyczyn, former mayor of Roseville from 2000 to 2004, denounced the school’s attempt at giving preferential treatment to students based on race.
“As a concerned parent and longtime outspoken opponent of racial discrimination, I find it appalling that we see this type of thinking coming from employees of the Roseville Public Schools,” he told Alpha News. “During my time as a student at Roseville High School (1986-1990), not once had I ever witnessed anything similar to this.”
“I seriously question why the school appears to have gone backwards on issues of racial discrimination,” Kysylyczyn continued. “Perhaps there’s a lack of understanding that if anti-discrimination policies are to have meaning and be taken seriously, they must apply to everyone.”
The Roseville public school district has been previously criticized by parents and residents on multiple occasions. Last August, Brimhall Elementary School Principal Ryan Vernosh called traditional understandings of gender “bigoted bullshit” in a Facebook interaction with a resident.
Roseville’s school board has also come under fire for attempting to shut down the public comment portion of board meetings, as well as promoting a left-wing parent group claiming to challenge “unjust systems” and promote “educational opportunities” on “antiracism, equity, and justice.”