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Case Name Settlement Agreement between United States and Jefferson Parish Public School System ED-LA-0005
Docket / Court docket unknown ( No Court )
State/Territory Louisiana
Case Type(s) Education
Attorney Organization Southern Poverty Law Center
U.S. Dept. of Justice Civil Rights Division
Case Summary
On August 22, 2012, the United States Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division, Educational Opportunities Section and the Department of Education Office for Civil Rights received a written complaint alleging national origin discrimination by Louisiana's Jefferson Parish Public School System ( ... read more >
On August 22, 2012, the United States Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division, Educational Opportunities Section and the Department of Education Office for Civil Rights received a written complaint alleging national origin discrimination by Louisiana's Jefferson Parish Public School System (JPPSS) against Latino students and parents. The Division and OCR received a supplemental complaint with additional allegations of national origin discrimination on November I, 2012. On September 26, 2012, the Division and OCR notified JPPSS that they had initiated a joint investigation into JPPSS's policies and practices regarding the documentation required for student registration, enrollment, and graduation.

On November 13, 2012, the Division and OCR notified JPPSS that, based on the supplemental complaint, they were expanding the investigation to examine whether JPPSS communicated with minority parents in a language they understand and whether JPPSS took prompt and effective action to respond to alleged incidents of harassing conduct based on national origin. The Division and OCR initiated the investigation under Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C § 2000, and the Equal Educational Opportunities Act (EEOA).

The school expressed interest in voluntarily resolving the matter and entered into a Resolution Agreement. The agreement included school-specific and parish-wide remedial measures. First, the agreement requires that the school not discriminate against students for enrollment, registration, or graduation -- including not requiring a social security card or other proof of citizenship. Second, the agreement requires translation services be available for the families at the school, and that those translators be properly trained. Third, the agreement requires the school to engage with the community to provide recommendations to the program. The school was also required to update their school policies, to be reviewed by the Justice Department. There will also be monitoring from the Department of Education until there is compliance with the agreement.

On July 8, 2014, without admitting any unlawful conduct, the school voluntarily agreed to implement the terms of the agreement. The agreement stated that it would "remain in effect for the entire 2014-2015,2015-2016, and 2016-2017 school years and until such time as the Agreement is terminated." The Departments of Justice and Education were given various methods of gaining information and, under the agreement, could enforce its terms by "civil enforcement proceedings in federal court and/or administrative enforcement proceedings."

Ginny Lee - 02/03/2017


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Defendant-type
Elementary/Secondary School
Discrimination-basis
Language discrimination
National origin discrimination
General
Language/ethnic/minority needs
Plaintiff Type
U.S. Dept of Justice plaintiff
Race
Race, unspecified
Special Case Type
Out-of-court
Type of Facility
Government-run
Causes of Action Title IV, Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. § 2000c et seq.
Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, 20 U.S.C. §§ 1681 et seq.
Title VI, Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. § 2000d et seq.
Defendant(s) The Jefferson Parish Public School
Plaintiff Description Southern Poverty Law Center filed two 2012 complaints alleging that Jefferson Parish schools failed to provide needed services for students struggling to learn English. The Departments of Education and Justice then resolved the matter with Jefferson Parish.
Indexed Lawyer Organizations Southern Poverty Law Center
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 Private Settlement Agreement
Order Duration 2014 - 2017
Case Ongoing Yes
Additional Resources
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  Blackman. v. District of Columbia
http://www.bazelon.org/blackman-v-district-of-columbia/
Date: 2017
By: The Bazelon Center (The Bazelon Center)
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

  S.S. v. Springfield Public Schools
http://www.bazelon.org/springfield-massachusetts-school-system/
Date: 2017
By: The Bazelon Center (The Bazelon Center)
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

  Doe v. Pasadena Unified School District
http://www.bazelon.org/doe-v-pasadena-unified-school-district/
Date: 2017
By: The Bazelon Center (The Bazelon Center)
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

  A.J. v. Cesar Chavez Public Charter Schools
http://www.bazelon.org/a-j-v-cesar-chavez-public-charter-schools-et-al/
Date: 2017
By: Bazelon Center (Bazelon Center)
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

  Dear Colleague Letter: Athletic Activities Counted for Title IX Compliance
http://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ocr/index.html
Date: Sep 17, 2008
By: United States Department of Education—Office of Civil Rights (U.S. Department of Justice)
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

  Montgomery Public Schools
http://www.bazelon.org
Date: 2017
By: The Bazelon Center (The Bazelon Center)
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

Docket(s)
No docket sheet currently in the collection
General Documents
Agreement between the United States of American and The Jefferson Parish Public School System
ED-LA-0005-0001.pdf | External Link | Detail
Date: 07/08/2014
[Letter to Superintendent Meza from DOJ and OCR]
ED-LA-0005-0002.pdf | External Link | Detail
Date: 07/09/2014
Plaintiff's Lawyers Bhargava, Anurima (District of Columbia)
ED-LA-0005-0001 | ED-LA-0005-0002
Newton, Jonathan D. (District of Columbia)
ED-LA-0005-0001
Samuels, Jocelyn (District of Columbia)
ED-LA-0005-0001
Simons, Shaheena S. (District of Columbia)
ED-LA-0005-0001

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