U.S. to Investigate Discrimination Against Native Students on Montana Reservation

In a Dec. 28 letter, sent hours after The New York Times and ProPublica published an investigation into racial inequities in the district, the department’s Office for Civil Rights notified the lawyer representing the tribal executive board.

News Story (Montana)

Annie Waldman, Erica L. Green
New York Times (NYT), ProPublica
January 4, 2019

Tags: Education


According to the letter, the investigation will focus on whether Wolf Point schools discipline Native students more harshly than white students, shunt them into remedial programs without appropriate cause, and deny them special education evaluations and services.

The department said it would also examine whether the district failed to respond to a parent’s accusations that a Native student was racially harassed. The student was not identified in the tribal complaint or in the letter.

“Tribal children have suffered unfairly for years in the Wolf Point School District,” said Melina Healey, the lawyer representing the tribal executive board. She called for a “swift and thorough investigation that leads to much-needed reforms.”