Highland Community College Settles with Justice Department : Over Racial Discrimination Against Black Student-Athletes

Highland Community College Settles with Justice Department : Highland Community College in Kansas reached a deal with the Justice Department to address accusations of unfair treatment towards Black student-athletes based on race. The deal, announced Monday, requires the college to modify student discipline procedures, simplify complaint filing, and provide extensive training. The agreement ends federal investigations into claims of unfair treatment of Black students, including searches, punishments, and housing expulsions.

Assistant AG Kristen Clarke of DOJ’s Civil Rights Division said, “No student’s education should be ruined by racial discrimination.” The settlement also addresses two lawsuits: one by ex-teachers and another by ex-athletes. 80 mi NW of Kansas City, MO, is Highland Community College. It has around 3,200 students, less than 6% African American. The lawsuit claims that until recently, over half of the school’s players were Black and mostly from out of state.

The settlement follows a lawsuit by former coaches alleging intimidation of black student-athletes and discriminatory recruiting practices. A deal was made to end this case earlier. The ACLU claimed that the school expelled Black students for minor reasons conducted random searches, and continued to monitor and harass them on campus. The college agreed to pay up to $15,000 to four students and promised to train staff on discrimination and the Fourth Amendment.

Highland Community College Settles with Justice Department

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Highland Community College must improve discipline fairness. This includes clarifying disciplinary methods and simplifying complaint filing. Faculty and staff will receive training on anti-discrimination rules and the Fourth Amendment, which safeguards against unfair searches and seizures.

The accusations against Highland have raised concerns about the treatment of minority kids in U.S. schools amid the ongoing national debate on racial equality. The Justice Department’s help could set a model for future cases.

No response was received from the Highland Community College spokesperson despite attempts to contact via phone or email. The settlement ended all federal probes into the school’s practices, which received press attention and led to legal action.

Highland Community College’s unique activities had clear effects. While African American students are not numerous in the overall school population, many Black athletes often come from out of state. This led to tensions and legal problems, now resolved by the Justice Department settlement.

Our Reader’s Queries

Is Highland Community College regionally accredited?

Highland Community College holds accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) and is authorized to operate by the Kansas Board of Regents.

What is the history of Highland Community College?

Established in 1858, Highland Community College was originally known as Highland University, and holds the distinction of being the first college in Kansas. Over the years, the institution underwent eight name changes, and has since been providing quality higher education to the residents of Northeast Kansas for over 160 years.

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