The Justice Department announced on Monday that a Kansas Community College, which was accused of attempting to reduce the number Black student-athletes, has reached a settlement.
In a press release, the department stated that Highland Community College must make their disciplinary procedures more fair and provide more training. They also have to improve their procedures for handling student complaints.
The university’s spokesperson did not immediately reply to an email or phone call seeking comment.
In a release, the department stated that the agreement resolved the investigation of complaints by Black students who were subjected to searches and punished more harshly than their white counterparts, leading to their removal from campus housing or expulsion.
The Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke said: “No college student’s educational experience should be marred or disrupted because of discrimination based upon their race.”
Former athletes and former coaches filed two lawsuits in response to the allegations.
The settlement of the coaches’ lawsuit, which occurred this year, claimed that the school had intimidated Black students-athletes to leave and instructed coaches not recruit African Americans.
In another lawsuit, the American Civil Liberties Union claimed that Highland expelled Black Students for minor or bogus offenses and subjected those students to arbitrary searches and surveillance on campus. In this case, the school paid up to $15,000 in compensation to four students. It also pledged to train staff and administrators on Fourth Amendment and anti-discrimination.
Highland is located about 80 miles north of Kansas City in Missouri. According to the lawsuit, less than 6% are African Americans, but up until recently half or more were Black student-athletes who came from outside the state.