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    Federal Department of Education investigates allegations of racism in Lower Merion School District

    The federal Department of Education is investigating allegations of racism in Lower Merion School District. It’s the latest development in a longstanding dispute over a redistricting plan. WHYY’s Bill Hangley has more.

    The federal Department of Education is investigating allegations of racism in Lower Merion School District. It’s the latest development in a longstanding dispute over a redistricting plan.

    Transcript:
    Lower Merion school officials say they’re just trying to get an equal number of students in both their high schools. They say that’s why they’re requiring students from a minority neighborhood to ride the bus to a new school when they could walk to their old school. A group of African American parents say racism underlies that decision. James Herbert represents the families.

    Herbert: “You don’t take a vibrant minority neighborhood, which is really the only significant minority neighborhood on the entire main line, and draw a line down the middle of it, and tell the kids, you can’t choose to go to your neighborhood school.”

    Herbert says the families just want the freedom to choose between the two schools. Lower Merion officials say they’ll cooperate with the federal investigation. But they say they’ve done nothing wrong, and that they’ll stick to their plan.

    Listen:
    Click on the play button below or right click on this link and choose “Save Link As” to download.

    [audio: reports20090327lowermerion.mp3]

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