FLORENCE, S.C. (WBTW) — An investigation into Florence 1 Schools’ “zero-tolerance” policy for fighting is continuing, and the local NAACP branch said Wednesday afternoon that the district has provided “significant” information to the U.S. Department of Education office handling the case.

“Florence One Schools has been compelled to provide data, and the Department of Education reports that they have received significant information from the district,” The Florence branch of the NAACP said in a news release. “The Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights welcomes any additional complaints or concerns. Parents and community members with complaints or concerns about Florence One Schools Zero-Tolerance Policy or any other concerns are encouraged to contact the Florence branch of the NAACP.”

The U.S. Education Department launched its investigation in September 2022 after the NAACP filed a Title VI complaint in June of that year, saying that “attempts to discuss the policy with the Board proved futile.”

“On December 9, 2021, despite clear and overwhelming disapproval from community members, Florence School District One School Board passed a zero-tolerance policy that made physical violence or fighting grounds for automatic recommendation for expulsion to the Board,” the NAACP said.

The complaint said the NAACP is concerned with the harm the policy could have on students, especially students of color.

“In particular, the letter raised the fact that there is overwhelming data suggesting that such policies fail to reduce violence and instead are disproportionately harmful to students of color,” the statement reads.

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Dennis Bright is a digital producer at News13. Dennis is a West Virginia native and graduate of Marshall University. He has won copyediting and journalism awards in West Virginia and Ohio. Follow Dennis on Twitter and read more of his work here.