Davenport School District has been cleared of any official wrongdoing in a federal racial discrimination complaint filed in the spring.
Kitara McClure reported to the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights that her 10-year-old son had been called a racial slur five times at Davenport Elementary. She also claimed the Lincoln County school retaliated against her and her son after they began contesting the treatment. The student and his mother are black.
In a letter to the district this week, the federal agency found there were no grounds to pursue the investigation.
The agency did, however, find that the elementary school had been a “racially hostile environment.” Because the district acted so extensively in training its staff and counseling students on not using racial slurs, the district was not found in violation, according to the letter.
“It’s not as clean as I would have liked, but it sure beats the alternative,” said Davenport Superintendent Gary Greene.
McClure said she received the letter Thursday, but first heard about it by phone and was stunned.
She has since moved her son, now 11, to Audubon Elementary in Spokane Public Schools.
“I just got an e-mail last week saying how great he was doing in class, and he was helping other students,” McClure said.
She said she has tried to forget the Davenport situation. She’s now student body president at Spokane Community College and runs a hair salon in north Spokane.
McClure said she was surprised Greene was so pleased by the finding.
Greene said the situation has been difficult on the district.
“We really believe deep down in our hearts we did everything possible to accommodate this family and their kid.”
The changes made in the district will help ensure students don’t have similar problems in the future, Greene said.