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Detroit School Board Files Civil Rights Complaint: State Created Separate, Unequal Education System For Black Kids

DETROIT (WWJ/AP) - Members of the board of Detroit's public school district say Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder and state-appointed emergency managers have discriminated against black children by creating an education system that is separate and unequal.

A Title VI complaint was filed with the U.S. Justice Department last week. School board member LaMar Lemmons says emergency managers have essentially stripped students, teachers and the public of civil rights.

"We want a thorough investigation into what appears to us to be corruption, theft, misfeasance and malfeasance," Lemmons, a long-time Synder critic, told the Detroit Free Press.

Snyder spokesman Dave Murray decried the allegations about mismanagement and says the board is using "divisive rhetoric."

The complaint also says the district also ignored warnings about former Detroit City Council President Charles Pugh being allowed to mentor boys. Pugh wasn't charged, but he has faced a lawsuit by a teenager who says Pugh made sexual advances toward him.

The 450-page complaint says the State of Michigan has controlled the Detroit Public Schools district for 13 of the last 16 years. Allegations include claims that emergency managers have appointed unqualified people for management positions, hurt classrooms through financial cuts and have retaliated against members of the school board, according to reports.

TM and © Copyright 2015 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2015 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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