According to reports by multiple news outlets, the U.S. Department of Education's Office of Civil Rights has launched an investigation into claims of racial discrimination against the San Mateo Union High School District.
The Wall Street Journal reported that the complaint was lodged by a handful of local families who claim their Chinese children were transferred out of "a high-performing high school"—namely, —to "a lower-performing high school"—.
The Office of Civil Rights said the complaints allege that the Chinese students were discriminated against by the school district because it held them "to different standards for demonstrating residency or guardianship than students of other races or national origins.”
However, Kirk Black, associate superintendent of human resources and administrative services for SMUHSD, told The San Mateo Daily Journal that there could be any number of reasons for the students' placement at Capuchino, though they requested to attend Mills.
Black cited examples such as school capacity issues; that other students were sent to Mills because of a need for better English-learner classes or a need to make up units that are not offered at all schools; or because too many other students had seniority because of siblings at the school, among other reasons.
The school district sent out a statement in response to the allegations, which the Daily Journal published, saying: "The Office for Civil Rights is investigating a complaint, and the district is fully cooperating with the investigation. We cannot, however, comment on the substance of an ongoing investigation."
Patch is attempting to contact the parties involved and will update this story as soon as additional information becomes available.