Michael Brannan is a geographer and map maker. He's also a parent in Mill Creek. When he saw a proposed boundary change for Mill Creek by the Everett School District, he felt something was wrong.
"I noticed the people who were allowed to stay in their schools were overwhelmingly from high-density white population areas, and the people who were being moved were almost totally from high-density minority areas," said Brannan.
Brannan found white students were being allowed to stay at Mill Creek Elementary while minorities were being moved to Penny Creek Elementary.
Mill Creek is a higher performing school than Penny Creek.
"The fact that they would move the minority population away from the much better school and to a lower rated school does support the idea that damage is being done to these minority communities," said Brannan.
Even more concerning, according to Brannan, is that the closer he looked at the boundary proposal, the more flawed it became.
"The district talks about keeping kids closer to their schools," said Brannan, "But there are actually white dense communities allowed to stay at Mill Creek Elementary that are farther away from Mill Creek Elementary than they are from Penny Creek."
Everett School District spokeswoman Leanna Albrecht told KING 5, "(Mr. Brannan's) data maps are based on 2010 census simple population data and do not reflect actual student enrollment data. In reviewing current and projected enrollment for African American students at Mill Creek Elementary School based on the elementary boundary recommendation, African American enrollment is projected to increase by one student from 27 to 28 students. The Elementary Boundary Committee did not use ethnicity data to determine any boundary adjustments."
Albrecht added, "Equity and diversity are two of our district’s core values. We greatly appreciate Mr. Bannon sharing this data and input with us; it will be considered along with other input received in developing a final elementary boundary recommendation."
Brannan is quick to point out that he does not think any of this is intentional, but he does feel it's part of an institutional discrimination seen in many facets of our society.
"We're all our brother's keeper and we really should take the time to make sure everyone in our community is being looked after," he said.
The next school board meeting is May 23 at 4:30 p.m. at the Community Resource Center; 3900 Broadway Ave, Everett.