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Case Name United States v. Sch. Dist. Phila. ED-PA-0004
Docket / Court 2:10-cv-07301 ( E.D. Pa. )
State/Territory Pennsylvania
Case Type(s) Education
Attorney Organization U.S. Dept. of Justice Civil Rights Division
Case Summary
On December 15, 2010, the United States, on behalf of several Asian-American students who were allegedly discriminated against based on their race, color, and/or national origin, brought suit in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, against the School District of ... read more >
On December 15, 2010, the United States, on behalf of several Asian-American students who were allegedly discriminated against based on their race, color, and/or national origin, brought suit in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, against the School District of Philadelphia. The plaintiff, represented by the U.S. Attorney's Office and the U.S. Department of Justice, asked the Court for a declaratory judgment and injunctive relief under Title IV of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. § 2000c-6, and the Fourteenth Amendment's Equal Protection Clause under 42 U.S.C. § 1983.

Specifically, the plaintiff claimed that the defendant unlawfully discriminated against Asian-American students based on their race, color, and/or national origin through their deliberate indifference to severe and pervasive harassment of this group of students at South Philadelphia High School (SPHS). The plaintiff claimed that this indifference to harassment also resulted in a denial of equal access to educational opportunities, as these actions resulted in interference with the students' ability to attend school without fear for their safety. This harassment allegedly took place over the course of several years, and consisted of verbal and physical abuse based on the students' race, color, and/or national origin on school grounds. On December 3, 2009, dozens of Asian students were repeatedly attacked on and near school grounds.

On December 22, 2010, the Court (Judge Stewart Dalzell) approved the parties' settlement agreement. The agreement remained in effect until June 30, 2013, and required the school district, monitored by the United States, to develop an action plan that involved introduction of training guidelines, reporting requirements, and revision of district policies in order to combat and prevent harassment of students. The agreement also provided for alternative dispute resolution procedures to be utilized by the parties. The last action in the case was on May 11, 2011. The case is now closed.

Stella Cernak - 03/17/2014


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Constitutional Clause
Equal Protection
Content of Injunction
Develop anti-discrimination policy
Discrimination Prohibition
Goals and Timekeeping
Implement complaint/dispute resolution process
Monitor/Master
Monitoring
Recordkeeping
Reporting
Defendant-type
Elementary/Secondary School
Discrimination-basis
National origin discrimination
Race discrimination
General
Aggressive behavior
Failure to discipline
Failure to supervise
Language/ethnic/minority needs
Record-keeping
Staff (number, training, qualifications, wages)
Plaintiff Type
U.S. Dept of Justice plaintiff
Race
Asian/Pacific Islander
Type of Facility
Government-run
Causes of Action 42 U.S.C. § 1983
Defendant(s) The School District of Philadelphia
Plaintiff Description Asian students who were unlawfully discriminated against based on race, color, and/or national origin, which barred them from equal access to educational opportunities at South Philadelphia High School.
Indexed Lawyer Organizations U.S. Dept. of Justice Civil Rights Division
Class action status sought No
Class action status granted No
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 2010 - 2013
Case Closing Year 2013
Case Ongoing No
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)
2:10-cv-07301-SD (E.D. Pa.) 05/11/2011
ED-PA-0004-9000.pdf | Detail
PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Complaint 12/15/2010 (2010 WL 5412509)
ED-PA-0004-0001.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order Approving and Entering Settlement Agreement 12/15/2010
ED-PA-0004-0002.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Judges Dalzell, Stewart R. (E.D. Pa.)
ED-PA-0004-9000
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Berman, Amy I. (District of Columbia)
ED-PA-0004-0001 | ED-PA-0004-0002
Foster Givhan, Annetta (Pennsylvania)
ED-PA-0004-0001 | ED-PA-0004-0002 | ED-PA-0004-9000
Hutchinson, Margaret L. (Pennsylvania)
ED-PA-0004-0001 | ED-PA-0004-0002 | ED-PA-0004-9000
Kassabian, Tamara Hardney (District of Columbia)
ED-PA-0004-0001 | ED-PA-0004-0002 | ED-PA-0004-9000
Memeger, Zane D. (Pennsylvania)
ED-PA-0004-0001 | ED-PA-0004-0002 | ED-PA-0004-9000
Murphy, Nicholas U. (District of Columbia)
ED-PA-0004-0001 | ED-PA-0004-0002
Perez, Thomas E. (District of Columbia)
ED-PA-0004-0001 | ED-PA-0004-0002
Defendant's Lawyers Bernoff Sher, Diane (Pennsylvania)
ED-PA-0004-0002 | ED-PA-0004-9000
Davis, Michael A. (Pennsylvania)
ED-PA-0004-0002
Ramos, Pedro A. (Pennsylvania)
ED-PA-0004-0002 | ED-PA-0004-9000
Sher, Diane Bernoff (Pennsylvania)
ED-PA-0004-9000
Sneed, Maree F. (District of Columbia)
ED-PA-0004-0002
Trujillo, Kenneth I. (Pennsylvania)
ED-PA-0004-0002 | ED-PA-0004-9000
Other Lawyers None on record

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