MARIETTA, Ga. -- Local community leaders announced Monday that they're filing a civil rights complaint against the Marietta City School System.
The group gathered in front of the Marietta City Schools Central Office to announce they're seeking federal intervention to change what they’ve called racialized practices.
The group claims those alleged practices have had a negative impact on the performance of black and Latino students throughout the school system. Leaders say they also believe Marietta City School leaders are biased when it comes to hiring, extracurricular activities and tracking.
“Marietta is the epitome of what goes wrong when everything is seen through a white flight with an overwhelming majority of white administrators at the top level," said Ken Sprague, a former Marietta High School teacher.
Sprague says that while black students are the district's largest demographic group, statistics show that the “district has conducted business through a white lens.”
According to leaders, “the past 125 years of the district’s policies and practices have inflicted a blight on minority achievement that stretches to this day.” The group cited 2016 numbers that show only four black students passed the overall ACT benchmark for college readiness despite being a majority demographic.