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D.S. v. New York City Deptartment of Education

United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York
255 F.R.D. 59 (2008)


A group of minority students and their parents (plaintiffs) filed a class-action lawsuit against the New York City Department of Education (defendant). The plaintiffs were students at Boys & Girls High School (the School) and alleged that the School deliberately denied the plaintiffs a high school education. The population of the School was 99.4 percent minority, and 62 percent of the students were at or below the poverty level. The plaintiffs alleged that approximately 500 students were placed on modified schedules that did not provide adequate daily instruction to progress toward a high school diploma. The plaintiffs also alleged that the School improperly denied registered students access to the school. The plaintiffs further alleged that School discouraged student attendance by seizing students’ winter coats and identification cards required to enter the school building. The plaintiffs asserted that the School, as a result of its actions, violated the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution by failing to provide an equal opportunity for students of all racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic backgrounds. The School and the plaintiffs reached a proposed settlement and requested approval of the settlement from the court. As part of the settlement, the School agreed to an injunction against wrongfully excluding present and future students. The School also agreed to inform students of their rights to educational services and to follow specific protective measures prior to excluding any student from educational services or transferring or discharging any students from the School. The School consented to monitoring and additional training for staff. The School also agreed to provide additional services to a subclass of students adversely affected by the School’s actions, such as vocational and career training, counseling, literacy programs, and guidance and academic support services.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Weinstein, J.)

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