Summit School District responds to complaint filed with US Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights

The Summit Schools Administration building in Frisco is pictured on Tuesday, April 28, 2020. A complaint filed on April 26, 2024 with the U.S. Department of Education alleges the district discriminated on the basis of race when it created and promoted a volunteer group to Spanish-speaking parents. The district said it stands by its practices.
Liz Copan/Summit Daily News archive

The Summit School District said it stands by a volunteer-parent group it created for Spanish-speaking families after a civil rights complaint was filed alleging the district’s practices were discriminatory. 

The national group Parents Defending Education filed a complaint on April 26 with the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights alleging that invitation and participation in a district parent group is granted “solely on the basis of an individual’s race.”

The complaint refers to the school district’s Consejo de Familias Hispanas, which translates to Council of Hispanic Families, a parent group that was formed in February 2023 by district officials as a way of hearing input from Spanish-speaking families.

Roughly 40% of the district’s student body identifies as Hispanic, and around a quarter speak Spanish as a primary language. 

The complaint alleges that the district notified parents about the group using an email that was written only in Spanish and created a barrier of entry for non-Spanish-speaking parents. The complaint also contains a screenshot of a district email telling participants that they will receive a $50 gift card for attending the group, which the complaint states is “a benefit on the basis of race and national origin that is not offered to all students.”

In an email to the Summit Daily News, Summit School District Communications Director Kerstin Anderson stated: “While we cannot comment specifically on the Complaint as it is an ongoing legal matter we want to reiterate our commitment to fostering an inclusive environment where every community member feels heard and valued.”

The statement continues: “We are proud of and stand by our work with Consejos de Familias Hispanas, recognizing them as an essential and valuable voice within our network of community partners and parent committees.”

Anderson added that the group’s meetings, which are public, are posted on the district’s school calendar in Spanish and English and open to anyone. 

Support Local Journalism

Support Local Journalism

As a Summit Daily News reader, you make our work possible.

Summit Daily is embarking on a multiyear project to digitize its archives going back to 1989 and make them available to the public in partnership with the Colorado Historic Newspapers Collection. The full project is expected to cost about $165,000. All donations made in 2023 will go directly toward this project.

Every contribution, no matter the size, will make a difference.