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November 15, 2012

The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) today welcomed an announcement by the U.S. Departments of Justice and Education that they will investigate two additional components of an SPLC civil rights complaint that describes widespread discrimination against Latino students and their families in Louisiana’s Jefferson Parish Public School System (JPPSS).

Criminal Justice Reform
Immigrant Justice

Date Filed

September 19, 2012

Vermilion Parish (La.) Sheriff Michael Couvillon refused to turn over public records related to the detention of individuals suspected of being undocumented. The SPLC requested the records under the Louisiana Public Records Act to determine if the sheriff’s office was holding immigrants in jail for prolonged periods of time due to unconstitutional racial profiling.

Children's Rights

Date Filed

August 22, 2012

Louisiana’s Jefferson Parish Public School System failed to provide adequate translation and interpretation services for Spanish-speaking parents with limited English proficiency and created an environment hostile to Latino students. The school system provided school notices in English to English-speaking parents but failed to provide this information to Spanish-speaking parents in Spanish – discriminating against these students and violating state and federal law. The SPLC filed a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education and the U.S. Department of Justice, resulting in a settlement agreement between the school system and federal authorities.