School District’s Discriminatory Policies and Practices to Face Trial
NCYL, the Disability Rights Education and Defense Fund, and the Equal Justice Society are going full speed ahead with discovery to prepare for trial to address discriminatory policies and practices of Antioch, California public schools. The lawsuit followed the collapse of what had been seen as a groundbreaking agreement with Antioch Unified School District (AUSD) to identify the causes of racial and disability based disparities in school discipline by examining the subtle, complex, and often unintentional ways in which race, disability, and discipline intersect.
The agreement resulted from lengthy negotiations between the AUSD and the East County NAACP to address federal civil rights and disability rights violations against African American students. AUSD agreed in March 2015 to retain experts to investigate the District’s alleged discriminatory practices. Although the District initially complied with its obligations under the agreement, it ultimately refused to move forward preventing the completion of the investigation. The East County NAACP were forced to sue the District in July 2016 for breaking their promise.
In February of this year, Contra Costa County Superior Court Judge Charles S. Treat found that that the district must face trial, ruling, “the District should not be permitted to avoid the Agreement simply because it has changed its mind.”