Case: Settlement Agreement between United States and Jefferson Parish Public School System

No Court

Filed Date: 2014

Case Ongoing

Clearinghouse coding complete

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 (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, 201…

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."

Summary Authors

Ginny Lee (2/3/2017)


Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Bhargava, Anurima (District of Columbia)

Newton, Jonathan D. (District of Columbia)

Samuels, Jocelyn (District of Columbia)

Simons, Shaheena A (District of Columbia)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Bhargava, Anurima (District of Columbia)

Newton, Jonathan D. (District of Columbia)

Samuels, Jocelyn (District of Columbia)

Simons, Shaheena A (District of Columbia)

Documents in the Clearinghouse

Document

Agreement between the United States of American and The Jefferson Parish Public School System

DOJ and OCR Agreement with Jefferson Parish Public School System

July 8, 2014 Settlement Agreement

[Letter to Superintendent Meza from DOJ and OCR]

DOJ and OCR Agreement with Jefferson Parish Public School System

July 9, 2014 Findings Letter/Report

Docket

Last updated May 11, 2022, 8 p.m.

Docket sheet not available via the Clearinghouse.

State / Territory: Louisiana

Case Type(s):

Education

Key Dates

Filing Date: 2014

Case Ongoing: Yes

Plaintiffs

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.

Plaintiff Type(s):

U.S. Dept of Justice plaintiff

Attorney Organizations:

U.S. Dept. of Justice Civil Rights Division

Southern Poverty Law Center

Public Interest Lawyer: Yes

Filed Pro Se: No

Class Action Sought: No

Class Action Outcome: Not sought

Defendants

The Jefferson Parish Public School, School District

Defendant Type(s):

Elementary/Secondary School

Case Details

Causes of Action:

Title VI, Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. § 2000d et seq.

Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, 20 U.S.C. §§ 1681 et seq.

Title IV, Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. § 2000c et seq.

Special Case Type(s):

Out-of-court

Availably Documents:

Injunctive (or Injunctive-like) Relief

None of the above

Outcome

Prevailing Party: Plaintiff

Nature of Relief:

Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement

Source of Relief:

Settlement

Form of Settlement:

Private Settlement Agreement

Order Duration: 2014 - 2017

Issues

General:

Language access/needs

Discrimination-basis:

Language discrimination

National origin discrimination

Race:

Race, unspecified

Type of Facility:

Government-run