A federal civil rights investigation into Waco Independent School District has been closed because of insufficient evidence.
The U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights notified the district the investigation was closed in a letter sent Sept. 29. Two other Office for Civil Rights investigations, based on complaints dating back to 2014, remain open.
In the closed case, a Mountainview Elementary School parent alleged the district discriminated against her son based on race by disciplining her son “differently than similarly situated white and Hispanic students” in December 2014, according to an Office for Civil Rights letter.
The complainant also alleged school officials failed to promptly and effectively step in when students called her son racially derogatory names and that school officials failed to promptly address sexually derogatory comments about female students during the same time period.
After reviewing information provided by Waco ISD, including policies and procedures prohibiting discrimination, the district’s student code of conduct, the student’s educational and discipline records, and communication with the complainant and Waco ISD officials, investigators determined there was insufficient evidence to support the parent’s claim, according to the Sept. 29 letter.
The Tribune-Herald had not obtained the Sept. 29 letter when it published a story Oct. 1 that referred to the investigation as still open. The letter is stamped as received by the Waco ISD superintendent’s office Oct. 4.
One of the two cases that remain open involves similar discrimination allegations involving two students at Crestview Elementary School between 2013 and 2015. The other is an employee’s retaliation claim from last year.