SPLC History: 2010s

2010 – Arkansas-based Superior Forestry Service Inc. agrees to pay $2.75 million to settle an SPLC lawsuit filed on behalf of guestworkers who were systematically cheated out of their wages. The settlement is one of the largest of its kind.

2010 – A settlement agreement is reached in a federal lawsuit the SPLC filed against the Lauderdale County Juvenile Detention Center in Mississippi. The settlement promises dramatic reforms at the facility. The lawsuit described children locked in cells for 23 hours a day and subjected to the use of pepper spray as punishment.

2010 – The town of Homer, La., settles an SPLC lawsuit filed on behalf of the widow of an elderly black man shot to death by a white police officer in 2009.

2010 – In response to mounting reports of vicious anti-gay bullying and student suicides, Teaching Tolerance releases “Bullied: A Student, a School and a Case that Made History.” More than 30,000 copies of the documentary film and classroom teaching kit are ordered by educators within the first three months.

2010 – The SPLC wins a $250,000 settlement for Mexican immigrants who were jailed and turned over to immigration authorities after demanding pay withheld by their employer at a Tennessee cheese factory. The case established an important legal precedent for worker rights.

2010 – A North Carolina company agrees to pay $230,000 to settle an SPLC lawsuit on behalf of a Latina factory worker who was brutally assaulted by a plant manager after she had earlier reported his sexual harassment to company officials.

2010 – New Orleans schools agree to reform security policies to protect students from handcuffing and shackling after the SPLC sues on behalf of a first-grader who was handcuffed by an armed security officer.

2011 – A settlement agreement is reached in a federal lawsuit the SPLC filed on behalf of a Latino man who suffered broken bones in his face when he was arrested and beaten by police officers during a 2010 traffic stop in Smyrna, Ga.

2011 – Teaching Tolerance releases Teaching the Movement: The State of Civil Rights Education 2011, a report finding that most states fail at teaching students about the civil rights movement.

2011 – The public school district in Durham, N.C., agrees to end discriminatory practices that created a hostile environment for Latino students, following a federal civil rights complaint filed by the SPLC.

2011 – A settlement agreement is reached to pay $1.5 million to more than 1,500 foreign guestworkers owed back wages by an Arkansas agricultural company. The agreement with Candy Brand is one of the largest settlement agreements ever reached against a single employer of foreign guestworkers.

2011 – A settlement agreement is reached to improve conditions and stop abuses at Mississippi’s Forrest County Juvenile Detention Center. The facility, located in Hattiesburg, agrees to comply with federal law requiring that children at the center be allowed access to lawyers and civil rights advocates.

2012 –The Anoka-Hennepin school district, Minnesota’s largest, agrees to adopt a wide-ranging plan to protect LGBT students from bullying and harassment.

2012 – The SPLC reaches a settlement with Jackson (Mississippi) Public Schools to reform discipline policies and end the practice of handcuffing students to railings and poles for hours at a time as punishment for minor rule violations.

2012 – A federal court rules that colleges and universities in Florida can no longer charge out-of-state tuition rates to the children of undocumented immigrants who are residents of the state.

2012 – A federal court orders a Georgia forestry company to pay $11.8 million to 4,000 foreign guest workers who were systematically cheated out of their wages.

2012 – A jury orders a labor recruiting firm and its owner to pay $4.5 million to 350 Filipino teachers lured to teach in Louisiana public schools and forced into exploitive contracts.

2013 – The SPLC reaches agreement with Mobile (Alabama) County Public Schools to reduce suspensions for minor misbehavior and provide alternative forms of discipline.

2013 – The Jefferson Parish (Louisiana) Head Start program agrees to provide equal access to impoverished Latino preschoolers who were previously denied enrollment.

2013 – Litigation over Georgia’s anti-immigrant law comes to an end after several key provisions are blocked by a coalition including the SPLC.

2013 – In an historic ruling, a federal court declares unconstitutional sections of a statute that prevented the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs from granting benefits to a disabled veteran and her same-sex spouse.

2013 – Alabama’s vicious anti-immigrant law is gutted after the SPLC and other civil rights groups reach an agreement with the state to permanently block key provisions.

2014 – Major provisions of South Carolina’s anti-immigrant law are permanently blocked as part of a settlement agreement with a coalition including the SPLC.

2014 – The SPLC releases White Homicide Worldwide, a report showing that nearly 100 people were murdered by active users of the leading white supremacist web forum, Stormfront, over the previous five years.

2014 – The SPLC releases War in the West, describing how a standoff between federal agents and a Nevada rancher was a highly coordinated effort by far-right militiamen that subsequently energized volatile extremists.

2014 – A settlement with the city of Montgomery, Alabama, stops the jailing of indigent people who can’t pay traffic fines – closing the city’s modern-day version of debtors’ prison.

2014 –Teaching Tolerance releases a first-of-its-kind literacy curriculum – Perspectives for a Diverse America – to help teachers better engage diverse classrooms.

2015 – The SPLC wins a $14 million jury verdict for Indian guest workers who were defrauded in a labor-trafficking scheme engineered by a Gulf Coast marine services company and its agents. The verdict ultimately becomes part of a $20 million settlement on behalf of 200 workers.

2015 – Teaching Tolerance releases its eighth classroom documentary – Selma: The Bridge to the Ballot – prior to the 50th anniversary of the Selma-to-Montgomery voting rights march. Nearly 35,000 free copies are distributed in the first six months.

2015 – In a landmark victory, a jury finds that a New Jersey provider of “conversion therapy” violated the state’s consumer fraud law by offering services it claimed could turn gay people straight.

2015 – The Department of Justice, sparked by an SPLC investigation, reaches a settlement to stop the school system in Lauderdale County, Mississippi, from needlessly arresting children for minor school violations.

2015 – SPLC brings international attention to the plight of transgender prisoners in a case brought on behalf of Ashley Diamond; the litigation leads to reforms to Georgia’s prison policies.