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News
April 11, 2012

The Southern Poverty Law Center urged Louisiana lawmakers to oppose a bill that bans state contracts from providing anti-discrimination protections to vulnerable populations that include LGBT people and English language learners – provisions that threaten to stifle economic growth and harm the state’s school children.

News
April 10, 2012

The Southern Poverty Law Center commends Sheriff Marlon Gusman’s decision to close the Orleans Parish Prison House of Detention, but the Sheriff’s Department needs to make additional reforms to better protect the community and save taxpayer dollars.

Criminal Justice Reform

Date Filed

April 01, 2012

Prisoners at the Orleans Parish Prison in Louisiana endured rampant violence, multiple sexual assaults and neglect. The Southern Poverty Law Center filed a federal lawsuit against Orleans Parish Sheriff Marlin N. Gusman, charging the sheriff’s indifference created the brutal and inhumane conditions at the jail. The SPLC reached an agreement with officials in December 2012 to address the brutal and inhumane conditions at the Orleans Parish Prison.

Children's Rights

Date Filed

January 10, 2012

African-American students in Louisiana’s Jefferson Parish Public Schools were disproportionately arrested for minor rule violations across the school district. These students often experienced physical abuse while being detained, including one student whose arm was broken as sheriff’s officers detained him. They were also subjected to racially offensive language and other inappropriate comments while being detained. The U.S. Department of Education launched an investigation after the Southern Poverty Law Center filed a complaint describing these conditions.

News
January 10, 2012

Criminalization of ordinary school misbehavior is not uncommon at the Jefferson Parish Public School System, located in the New Orleans suburbs. In fact, it’s the norm – and African-American students are disproportionately targeted for arrest. The SPLC filed a federal civil rights complaint on behalf of four African-American students who faced mistreatment at the hands of police officers stationed in Jefferson Parish schools.

News
December 10, 2010

Last week Superintendant Paul Pastorek responded to our new report, "Access Denied," which documents the experiences of New Orleans public school students and their families and exposes numerous systemic failures, by calling it an attempt "to influence the state education board."

News
November 30, 2010

Access Denied exposes numerous systemic failures plaguing the New Orleans public education system. The SPLC and allied organizations also called on the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education (BESE) to review the report, which examines the barriers to public education facing New Orleans public school students and their families.

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