NAACP: Feds Investigating E. Ramapo Schools


willie-trotmanThe NAACP announced Monday that the United States Department of Education Office of Civil Rights has begun investigating the East Ramapo School District.

According to a statement issued by the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, the investigation is focusing on allegations made by the organization’s Spring Valley chapter that East Ramapo has engaged in discriminatory practices.

Wilbur Aldridge, director for the mid-Hudson and Westchester regions of the NAACP, said Monday that his organization chose to contact the U.S. Department of Education about two months ago after receiving a number of complaints about the district from the East Ramapo community.

Official word that the NAACP’s allegations had resulted in the investigation did not come until last week, Aldridge said.

“We cannot release any information as to what they’re looking at or what they’re looking for, but we do know that they have begun an investigation into the functioning of the East Ramapo School District,” Aldridge said, adding that the U.S. Department of Education has asked that the particulars of the investigation be withheld.

Willie Trotman, president of the Spring Valley NAACP, could not be reached for comment Monday evening, but said in the statement that the NAACP’s efforts in the district are consistent with his organization’s goals.

“In keeping with our mission, the NAACP continues its struggle for the fair and equitable treatment and access to quality educational opportunities for all children in the East Ramapo Central School District,” he said.

Trotman was one of about 60 who questioned the East Ramapo Board of Education’s management of district resources and willingness to provide a quality education to public school students at a protest on April 6.

During that protest, while marching outside East Ramapo’s administration building at 105 S. Madison Ave., Trotman said students in East Ramapo’s public schools were not receiving the same treatment as those students in the district’s private schools.

 {Lohud/ Newscenter}