Southern Poverty Law Center Takes Aim At Autauga Co. Schools

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By Ashley Thompson

The Southern Poverty Law Center accuses the Autauga County School system of discrimination.

The Southern Poverty Law Center sent a letter to Autauga County Schools Superintendent Spence Agee claiming discrimination in his school district. The letter states that his schools are excluding immigrant children from extra curricular activities.

The SLPC says the practice of requiring a social security number in order to participate in sports and activities is unconstitutional but Superintendent Spence Agee says this is all just a big misunderstanding.

The Southern Poverty Law Center was contacted by community members that say their children are being discriminated against because they cannot provide a social security number to enroll in school activities.

"Even the existence of this requirement on a form has the effect of discouraging children from even attempting to participate in these types of activities," says attorney Caren Short. "If they don't have a social security number and they see that its required, they're not going to try out for the football team and that's unfair."

Short says the letter was sent to Superintendent Agee because this requirement violates the constitution. But what she doesn't realize is that Agee says he actually agrees with her and says he was blind sided by the letter. Agee tells us there were some enrollment forms on the schools' websites that simply needed updating.

"When I received the letter, I was completely shocked," says Agee. "We would never violate anyone's constitutional rights. And we would never deny any student the opportunity to participate in extra curricular activities. It took us about 10, 12 minutes to get on the phone with all the principals and update all the forms and get them where they need to be."

Those forms were updated online January 3rd and the social security question has been removed from them. Agee says he has no plans to contact the Southern Poverty Law Center and says they can just go to his website if they want to see the changes that were made.

 

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