IRONIC: Said the civil rights attorney who filed the complaint, considering the school’s founding history as a space to help increase the number of students of color in marine sciences. PHOTO COURTESY OF FACEBOOK

MIAMI, Fla. – An African American student who recently graduated from MAST Academy in Key Biscayne has accused two faculty members of discrimination and filed a complaint with the MiamiDade County Public Schools.

In the complaint, Aniyah Upshaw claimed a teacher and assistant principal allegedly used racially discriminating comments toward her during two separate incidents.

The school district confirmed it received the complaint and is currently investigating Upshaw’s claim.

Upshaw said she felt she was singled out in front of the class by her former teacher when he made the alleged comments.

"He would say, ‘You know all about ‘angry Black women’ and that they don’t mess around,’ and look to me, the only Black student, for confirmation," the student said in the complaint.

"This was a math class, and none of these discussions related to the subject matter or learning environment."

In another incident, Upshaw claimed the school’s assistant principal suggested that the clothing she wore looked as if she was planning to go to a club.

"I was wearing a long sleeve shirt and sweatpants, what club am I going to?" Upshaw said.

The Miami-Dade School Board released a brief statement on the complaint, saying the district can’t comment on complaints currently under investigation.

"Since this is a pending Civil Rights Compliance complaint that is under investigation by the district, it would be inappropriate for us to comment at this time," the statement read.

Civil Rights Attorney Sue-Ann Robinson filed the complaint on behalf of Upshaw.

Robinson referred to the allegations as disturbing and ironic, considering the school’s founding history as a space to help increase the number of students of color in marine sciences.

"The daily behaviors do in fact create harm, it’s the death of a thousand cuts," Robinson said.

The family of the student said their goal is to create a safe learning environment for current and future Black students.

The Florida Department of Education said public schools districts, charter and private schools create their own sets of guidelines for dealing with teacher or student misconduct including accusations of discrimination and racism.

Counseling is usually the first step to try to tackle the issue.

Also, the state’s Office of Professional Practice Services could step in to investigate misconduct by a teacher and administrator and sanction that educator for disciplinary action against his/her Florida Educator Certificate if the complaint is found true.

The educator could be terminated by a school district superintendent.

MAST Academy, 3979 Rickenbacker Causeway, is a 6-12 grade magnet school with 1,562 currently enrolled for the 2022-2023 school year, according to Miami-Dade County Public Schools.

About 71 percent of the students are Hispanics, 3.7 percent are Blacks and 1.5 percent Asians.

About 19 percent of the student population are economically disadvantaged.

U.S. News and World Report ranked the school among the top magnet schools in Florida.

There was a similar race-related incident in Louisiana last month.

Dalon Thorn, a Black seventh grade student at Calvary Baptist school in Slidell, claimed his principal, who’s White, called him out over his braids, asking him if it meant he’s some kind of gangster.

The hairstyle violates the school’s policy.

The boy’s mother, Ashley Thorn, was outraged over the alleged incident and filed a complaint with the school district.