Photo: Jefferson Parish School District Lawsuit
The Southern Law Poverty Center (SPLC) has filed a federal complaint against the public school system in Jefferson Parish, Louisiana on behalf of Spanish-speaking parents. The complaint was filed with the U.S. Department of Justice and U.S. Department of Education.
The civil rights complaint, filed yesterday on behalf of 16 students, alleges the public school district does not provide interpreters for these Spanish-speaking parents, which puts the student at a disadvantage. The parents are not able to communicate with school teachers, respond to disciplinary notices or engage with their child’s education in any meaningful way without these interpreters.
In addition the law suit alleges Latino students in the district exist in a ‘hostile environment’ because they are harassed by school employees about their immigration/citizenship status.
“Jefferson Parish public schools must end these discriminatory practices and recognize that these students have the same rights as English-speaking families,” said Jennifer Coco, a staff attorney for the SPLC’s Louisiana office. “This is about ensuring every student in the district has an opportunity to succeed and that all parents have a meaningful opportunity to participate in their child’s education.”