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Case Name A.M. v. Jackson Public Schools Board of Trustees ED-MS-0002
Docket / Court 3:11CV344-TSL-MTP ( S.D. Miss. )
State/Territory Mississippi
Case Type(s) Education
Case Summary
On June 8, 2011 the Southern Poverty Law Center ("SPLC") filed this 42 U.S.C. § 1983 class action lawsuit in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Mississippi against the Jackson Public Schools Board of Trustees and several officials of the school district. The Plaintiff ... read more >
On June 8, 2011 the Southern Poverty Law Center ("SPLC") filed this 42 U.S.C. § 1983 class action lawsuit in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Mississippi against the Jackson Public Schools Board of Trustees and several officials of the school district. The Plaintiff class (all students who currently attend and/or will attend the Capital City Alternative School in the future), represented by attorneys from the SPLC and by private counsel, sought declaratory and injunctive relief, claiming that the Defendants' punishment methods were unconstitutional. Specifically, the Plaintiffs claimed that the Defendants would routinely shackle or handcuff students to railings and leave them unsupervised for up to six hours at a time as punishment for noncriminal violations of school policies. During these punishments, students were forced to eat their lunches while restrained, and had to beg school officials to let them use the restroom.

On April 12, 2012, the Parties presented a Settlement Agreement to the Court that was focused on overhauling the Defendants' disciplinary policies. Specifically, the Settlement Agreement banned the use of fixed restraints on all students, banned the use of handcuffs for punishment of noncriminal behavior and completely banned the use of handcuffs on any student under the age of 13. Additionally, the agreement required the Defendants to consult with experts to rework their disciplinary system, and to implement a system of record keeping and reporting of all instances in which restraints of any kind were used on students. Finally, the court appointed a monitor to follow the case for 24 months to ensure that the Defendants were in compliance with the agreement.

This Settlement Agreement was approved by the Court on May 25, 2012, and did not preclude any class member from bringing an individual damages claim against the Defendants.

Joshua Arocho - 07/25/2012


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Constitutional Clause
Equal Protection
Content of Injunction
Monitor/Master
Monitoring
Recordkeeping
Reporting
Defendant-type
Elementary/Secondary School
General
Confinement/isolation
Excessive force
Failure to supervise
Restraints : physical
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Type of Facility
Government-run
Causes of Action 42 U.S.C. § 1983
Defendant(s) Assistant Principal of Capital City Alternative School
Director of Security of Jackson Public Schools
Jackson Public Schools Board of Trustees
Principal of Capital City Alternative School
School Safety Officer of Capital City Alternative School
Superintendent and Chief Executive Officer of Jackson Public Schools
Plaintiff Description All students who currently attend and/or will attend the Capital City Alternative School in the future.
Indexed Lawyer Organizations None on record
Class action status sought Yes
Class action status granted Yes
Prevailing Party Plaintiff
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement
Source of Relief Settlement
Form of Settlement Court Approved Settlement or Consent Decree
Order Duration 2012 - 2014
Case Closing Year n/a
Case Ongoing Yes
Additional Resources
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Case Studies Courts and Kids: Pursuing Educational Equity Through the State Courts
By: Michael Rebell (Columbia University, and Campaign for Educational Equity)
Citation: (University of Chicago Press, 2009)
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

Docket(s)
3:11−cv−00344 (S.D. Miss.) 04/08/2013
ED-MS-0002-9000.pdf | Detail
PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Complaint 06/08/2011
ED-MS-0002-0001.pdf | Detail
Document Source: Plaintiffs' counsel
Plaintiffs' Motion for Class Certification 06/08/2011
ED-MS-0002-0003.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Joint Motion For Approval of Settlement Agreement, Certification of Settlement Class and to set a Date for a Fairness Hearing; Settlement Agreement 04/12/2012
ED-MS-0002-0004.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Settlement of SPLC Suit to End Brutal Treatment of Students 05/25/2012
ED-MS-0002-0002.pdf | Detail
Document Source: Plaintiffs' counsel
Order Approving Settlement 05/25/2012 (S.D. Miss.)
ED-MS-0002-0005.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Judges Lee, Tom Stewart (S.D. Miss.)
ED-MS-0002-0005 | ED-MS-0002-9000
Parker, Michael T. (S.D. Miss.) [Magistrate]
ED-MS-0002-9000
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Bedi, Sheila A. (Mississippi)
ED-MS-0002-9000
Carroll, Vanessa (Mississippi)
ED-MS-0002-0004 | ED-MS-0002-9000
Cockrell, Corrie Wynette (Mississippi)
ED-MS-0002-9000
Juneja, Poonam (California)
ED-MS-0002-0001 | ED-MS-0002-0003 | ED-MS-0002-9000
Owens, Jody E. II (Mississippi)
ED-MS-0002-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Shepherd, JoAnne N (Mississippi)
ED-MS-0002-0004 | ED-MS-0002-9000
Other Lawyers None on record

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