Federal Agency Investigates Discrimination Complaint At Local School

Federal Agency Investigates Discrimination Complaint At Local School

4:02pm Jan 08, 2019
Some teachers and parents say they have health concerns over air quality and building conditions at Ashley Academy. KERI BROWN/WFDD

Federal officials are investigating a racial discrimination complaint against Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools. At issue is how the district responded to concerns over mold and air quality at Ashley Academy for Cultural & Global Studies.

A group of community members filed the complaint last August, alleging poor building conditions at Ashley Academy are impacting the health of teachers and students.

The facility is an older building that sits in a low-lying area near a creek. It serves a predominately black and Latino population.  

Now, The U.S. Dept. of Education’s Office for Civil Rights is investigating the matter.

The group is asking for a new school. Local NAACP Chapter President Rev. Alvin Carlisle says recent improvements aren’t enough, and he’s happy the federal government is stepping in.

This was just a band aid on a gaping wound," he says. "New buildings are being built on the periphery of town, while inner city schools that are primarily black and brown continue to receive patchwork instead of [a] replacement.”

Brent Campbell, spokesman for Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools, says the district can’t comment on the investigation, but will cooperate fully moving forward.

Campbell says Ashley Academy has received a new HVAC system and roofing among other things.

The district says it will continue inspections and random air quality testing at the school. Their website says recent results have been favorable.

 *Follow WFDD’s Keri Brown on Twitter @kerib_news

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