Kentwood Schools get apology from OCR

KENTWOOD, Mich. (WOOD) — Kentwood School officials say the Office of Civil Rights apologized to the district for stating incorrect information in an Associated Press report.

On Thursday, the Associated Press released a story saying Kentwood Public Schools was among more than a dozen being investigated by federal education officials for possible violations of a requirement to enroll children brought into the U.S. illegally. The investigation was stemming from complaints. Children brought into the U.S. illegally are guaranteed the right to a K-12 education under the 1982 Supreme Court decision Plyler v. Doe.

On Friday afternoon, Kentwood Public Schools released a statement saying officials with the Federal Office of Civil Rights told the district they were not under investigation and apologized for the misinformation that led to the Associated Press story.

You can read the full press release from Kentwood Public Schools below:

Kentwood Public Schools is committed to being in compliance with all federal and state guidelines. As a result when an AP story inaccurately listed the district as being under investigation by the Office of Civil Rights, district officials quickly contacted the federal agency to seek clarification.

Representatives from the Federal Office of Civil Rights confirmed late in the day that Kentwood Public Schools is not under investigation and apologized for the confusion that led to the inaccurate story.

“At Kentwood, we are committed to operating with excellence in all that we do and so we were glad to see that this was a misunderstanding. When the story emerged, we immediately sought out the agency leadership,” said Michael Zoerhoff, District Superintendent.

Zoerhoff went on to note the importance he places on the Office of Civil Rights, “Students from around the world enroll in our district for an education of excellence where diversity of thought and culture is not just talked about but reflected in the scope of our community. Make no mistake, in today’s world we believe that the Federal Office of Civil Rights does important work for our community and our country.”

Kentwood Public Schools is a global learning community. With students representing over 60 different countries and with one of the largest number of Advance Placement courses in the Kent County, Kentwood students capitalize on opportunities to excel academically, in the arts, and in athletics.

The Associated Press contributed to this article.


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