The Atlanta Public School System is being investigated by the Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights after allegations that a principal was separating students by race, reports the Atlanta Journal-Consitution.

Back in November, the Office for Civil Rights began its inquiry into the school district after a Black mother filed a civil rights complaint with the office claiming her child’s school “placed Black students in separate classrooms from their peers based on their race.”

Kila Posey, who has two children that attend Mary Lin Elementary School, alleged that Principal Sharyn Briscoe placed Black students in two second-grade classes without the consent of families during the 2020-2021 school year while white students had access to six second-grade classes. Both Posey and Briscoe are Black.

Posey’s complaint also states that the assistant principal at the school admitted in a recorded phone conversation that she was aware of the class separation that Briscoe authorized because “class lists are always tough,” in August 2020. Additionally, the district’s chief academic officer admitted in another recorded conversation in March 2021 that Briscoe segregated Black students in classrooms.

In response to the allegations, Atlanta Public Schools issued an official statement.

“Atlanta Public Schools has received notice from OCR that a complaint was filed, and the district is following OCR’s process,” the statement read. “Given that this matter is pending before a federal administrative agency for consideration, APS has no further comment.”

Marilyn Barnett Waters, NAACP education chair of the state of Georgia, visited the school to determine the validity of Posey’s claims. She believes the classroom setup she witnessed was a farce.

“I saw African American students in two of the classes I saw. It almost seemed like they were foreign to that class,” Waters told CNN. “The Black students weren’t engaged with any of the other kids in the class.”

“The white children seemed to have friends, but the two Black girls were sitting there, and it didn’t seem like they knew each other. They kept watching me as if I was going to say something to them,” she continued.

Atlanta Public Schools said that Waters’ claim that the school setting was planned “is totally fictional.”

“The principal was accommodating during the visit and answered all of Waters’ questions,” the district said. “When asked to give her impressions of what she observed during the visit, Dr. Waters stated that all she saw was a normal school day happening. It is both troubling and disappointing that Dr. Waters has chosen to provide you with false statements that are an affront to the faculty and staff.”

School segregation is an ongoing problem for public schools across the country. According to a 2014 study, 64.6 percent of Black students attend hyper-segregated schools: in New Jersey ( 48.5 percent); Pennsylvania( 46 percent); Michigan (50.4 percent); Maryland (53.1 percent); Illinois (61.3 percent).

Per the Public School Review, Atlanta public schools are 72% Black, 16% white; 8% Hispanic; 3% two or more races; 1% Asian; and 0% American Indian.