NAACP Slams Tukwila School District On Minority Hiring

The Tukwila School District boasts one of the most diverse student bodies in the state. But the NAACP of Seattle-King County says the district isn't doing enough to hire teachers of color.

The civil rights organization said it planned to confront the district’s board members Tuesday night about what it called “racist hiring practices.”

District Superintendent Nancy Coogan said the NAACP’s accusations are unfair.

“That’s very hurtful and truly, truly not what we’re trying to do in Tukwila and certainly not what I’ve tried to do in my career as an educator," Coogan said. "I want to hire the best and the brightest teacher to be in front of our students every day.”

Coogan has led the Tukwila district for just two years. She says her district has increased efforts to recruit teachers of color and it’s a top priority.

In a press release Tuesday, the NAACP said the district failed to hire people of color for 18 open positions. But district representatives said that claim is inaccurate because offers for half of those jobs have, in fact, been to made to people from racial minorities.

Currently 25 percent of the district’s teachers are non-white, compared to a student body that’s 85 percent non-white.

Alexis Mosely, a junior at the district's Foster High School, says she's disappointed there aren't more minority or female teachers. Mosely refers to herself as mixed race and says she identifies more with teachers of color.

"I think it’s kind of odd that we’re known for being the most diverse school and yet our staff doesn’t also show that, too," she said.

RadioActive’s Azeb Tuji contributed to this report.