I read with concern that the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Education is investigating charges of discrimination at Lincoln High School first made public last September (TNT, 3-1). The Tacoma School District is labeling it a personnel issue.
It seems that the civil rights office investigation indicates suspicion that there is some merit to the allegations. The school district has mishandled this from the beginning. A punitive lawsuit was launched against the whistleblowers. No good faith effort was made by the district to investigate.
The lawsuit has probably cost Tacoma taxpayers well over $100,000 - an absolute waste. Perhaps the district should acknowledge that civil rights issues are actually the core of the original complaint.
During the course of the investigation, Superintendent Carla Santorno should do the admirable act of stepping aside to allow the civil rights investigators to do their work. Lincoln's principal, Patrick Erwin, should step aside also.
I am concerned that while these two remain in place, the investigation cannot be conducted and completed in an efficient, aboveboard manner. I've watched this issue simmer since last fall - far too long. Resolve this in a way that doesn't cost taxpayers more money.