Hartland Consolidated School District under federal investigation

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This May 4, 2021, photo shows a sign outside the Robert F. Kennedy Department of Justice building in Washington. The Trump Justice Department secretly seized the phone records of three Washington Post reporters who covered the federal investigation into ties between Russia and Donald Trump’s campaign, the newspaper said Friday, May 7. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

LIVINGSTON COUNTY, Mich. (WLNS)—The U.S Department of Justice is conducting a federal investigation involving allegations of racial discrimination in a local school district. The allegations stem from the way the district handled alleged incidents of student-on-student harassment based on a student’s race.

According to WHMI, 18-year-old Tatayana Vanderlaan posted on social media she was persistently racially harassed by several students. The allegations stem from hate speech and judgment based on physical appearance.

WHMI says Vanderlaan in the post said she “did not feel safe or comforting at all.”

According to WHMI, after the post went viral Vanderlaan claimed she received threats to lynch her.

The Livingston County Sheriff’s Office investigated the issue, and charges were filed in May against the four other students. However, three of the four students were arraigned this week.

According to WHMI, all three of the students have pretrial hearings scheduled for July 26, 2021.

WHMI says the Michigan Department of Civil Rights had consulted with the district on the issue, it was only recently learned that federal authorities were also looking into the situation.

The U.S. Department of Justice has interviewed staff members to determine if the district violated Title IV of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

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