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Features and Stories
January 11, 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.

Features and Stories
December 11, 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."

Features and Stories
December 01, 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.

Features and Stories
November 10, 2010

The Louisiana Recovery School District (RSD) will make important policy revisions that will protect New Orleans students from abusive restraints, handcuffing and shackling. These reforms result from a settlement reached in a lawsuit filed by the Southern Poverty Law Center and Juvenile Justice Project of Louisiana.

Children's Rights

Date Filed

October 26, 2010

Students with disabilities were denied access to New Orleans public schools and often pushed into schools unable to provide them with the educational services they deserved under federal law. The Southern Poverty Law Center and a coalition of advocacy groups filed a federal lawsuit against the Louisiana Department of Education to bring these schools into compliance with federal law and end practices that harm students with disabilities.

Features and Stories
October 26, 2010

The Southern Poverty Law Center, Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law (LCCRUL), the Community Justice section of the Loyola Law Clinic in New Orleans, and the Southern Disability Law Center filed a federal civil rights lawsuit today against the Louisiana Department of Education (LDE) on behalf of all New Orleans students with special needs. The lawsuit details LDE’s systemic failures to ensure that students with disabilities have equal access to educational services and are protected from discrimination.

Features and Stories
August 24, 2010

The widow of an elderly black man shot to death by a white police officer last year has reached a settlement with the town of Homer, La., closing a lawsuit brought by the Southern Poverty Law Center on her behalf.

Features and Stories
July 28, 2010

Students with disabilities are being denied access to New Orleans public schools and are often pushed into schools unable to provide them with the special education services they deserve under federal law, according to a complaint lodged today by the Southern Poverty Law Center and other advocacy groups.

Children's Rights

Date Filed

July 08, 2010

Children at Sarah T. Reed Elementary School in New Orleans were subjected to unlawful arrest and excessive force – including handcuffing and shackling – for minor violations of school rules. The Southern Poverty Law Center filed a federal class action lawsuit on behalf of a first-grade student handcuffed and shackled to a chair by an armed security officer after the student argued with another youth. A settlement agreement resulted in the school district prohibiting the use of fixed restraints and limiting the use of handcuffs.

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