FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March, 13, 2013
Today, Rachel McGregor with the Dallas Office of Civil Rights acknowledged her office is investigating a Title VI racial discrimination complaint filed by Richard Railey, a white student at Tarrant County College in Fort Worth. Texas.
Mr. Railey’s 27 page complaint alleges that his school, under the direction of the Chancellor Erma Hadley, and with the approval of the College’s Board President William Greenhill,
“colluded, conspired, and schemed to purposefully, willfully, and with malice to have separately and jointly exercised conduct directed against my person based on race for the purposes of debasement, intimidation, bullying, and harassment, at a level of severity that has affected my ability to participate and/or benefit from my educational program at Tarrant County College”.
Mr. Railey’s complaint was filed in response to a school program started last year by the college entitled “Men of Color”, in which Black and Hispanic males are offered specialized tutoring, mentoring, and financial aid services, to the exclusion of white men and women. No mention is made in the widely distributed program flyer of welcoming or encouraging the many other classes of the student body.
In an article published on Oct,. 24th, 2012 in the schools paper, The Collegian, TCC administrators claim that it is necessary to institute discriminatory programs in order to correct social inequalities and disadvantages. According to the article, TCC administrators seem to think that only in this way; by paying – giving special benefits to non-white male students–can they have an equal chance and inequalities be rectified.
According to a Nov. 28th, follow-up editorial published by The Collegian, “Race-based policies, like TCC’s new minority mentorship program, are still necessary because, according to TCC administrators, half of African-American and Hispanic students drop out after their first semester.”
However, in the article from the school paper, neither Ms. Black, Vice Chancellor of student success and administrator of the exclusionary program, nor any other administrator at Tarrant County College, commented on the dismal graduation statics for their white students.
According to the non-profit organization Complete College America, white students seeking an Associates degree in the state of Texas are struggling mightily. Only 3.6% of white students graduate on time in 2 years, compared to 2.4% of blacks and Hispanics. And only 11.7% of whites graduate after 4 years, compared to 11.3% of Hispanics and 8.1% of blacks.
Does a 0.4% difference in 4-year graduation rates between whites and Hispanics really justify racially discriminatory programs and the exclusion of an entire segment of the student body from participating in the resources of their college? Shouldn’t students have equal access to extra financial and academic aid programs, regardless of race or gender?
Mr. Railey claims he is struggling mightily in his classes and has repeatedly, in writing and in-person requested tutoring assistance and was either ignored or advised he would have to seek help elsewhere, outside of the “Men of Color” program.
Mr. Railey states, “I registered and attended the Feb 8th “Mentoring Summit” held at our SE campus hoping to find a tutor and maybe participate in the supportive tuition grants that were to be distributed to attending students. I spoke to the event coordinator Terry Aaron (African-American), advised her I was a student in need, and asked if I could participate. She suggested I speak to the local coordinator who was in attendance, Freddie Sandifer”.
“So I did”, states Mr. Railey. “ I introduced myself as a student, advised I was seeking assistance, and Mr. Sandifer (an African-American) stated he was willing to help any student in need but directed I seek assistance elsewhere? Later, when I tried to address the panel, Mr. Sandifer disparaged me and tried to prevent me from participating in the discussion. I taped the whole event and was so distraught I produced a video short of the episode.
The next day I wrote Ms. Aaron and Mr. Sandifer and again re-iterated my need and interest in participating in their tutoring program. I never received a response from either. Finally, I contacted the program’s senior coordinator Christopher Douglas, and asked if I could meet with him to discuss the program and my participation”.
Mr. Railey continues, “So on March 1st 2013 I met with Mr. Douglas, the Campus President Tahita Fulkerson, and David Wells the Vice-Chancellor of Academic Affairs. I informed them I was struggling in my classes, and have tried repeatedly to seek out assistance and tutoring, and was most interested in participating in their “Men of Color” program. I was reassured the school does not discriminate based on race, and that all their programs are open to all students, however, they advised me they would find “someone else” (outside of the “men of color” program) to assist me, as the focus of this program (stated Mr. Douglas) was for African-American Men and Hispanics. Since the meeting, I’ve never heard back from any of them with regards to tutoring or mentoring assistance.”
Mr. Railey also names in his complaint Joy Gates Black, Vice-Chancellor of Student Success and senior administrator of the program, and Christopher Douglas director of student success and senior coordinator as additional parties that he alleges have excluded him from participation based on the color of his skin (white).
Mr. Railey concludes, “Although I applaud the schools efforts in forming a specialized tutoring and mentoring program to seek our students success, shouldn’t we be seeking out the success of all of our students on an equal basis?
Richard Railey is a student at Tarrant County College