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Columbia Schools Sued Over Racial Makeup of Gifted Program

An official with the Columbia public school's gifted program alleges in a lawsuit that the district discriminates when choosing Black and Hispanic students for the program. 

Beth Winton oversees the district's gifted program for middle and high schools students, but most students for the program are chosen in elementary school. She said in her lawsuit that the percentage of Black and Hispanic students in the program is lower than their percentage of the student population, while the reverse is true for white and Asian students. 

District spokeswoman Michelle Baumstark said the district values diversity but must follow state guidelines when identifying students for the program.

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