Tuesday, January 4, 2011
Discrimination, of course, can occur in all phases of life. Query whether a student can bring a discrimination case against a school district for race discrimination. The answer, which you would think would be clear, is completely unsettled.
The issue has arisen because of the language of the statute. Executive law § 296 (4) states in pertinent part, as follows:
[i]t shall be an unlawful discriminatory practice for an education corporation or association which holds itself out to the public to be non-sectarian and exempt from taxation pursuant of the provisions of article four of the real property tax law to deny the use of its facilities to anyone person otherwise qualified, or to permit the harassment of any student or applicant, by reason of his...sex....
The legal issue is whether a school district is an education corporation or an association. Matter of Union Endicott v. NYS Division of Human Rights, ___Misc. 3d____(Broom Co. July 26, 2010), contains a nice summary of the applicable case law. In the above decision, the court punts the issue and says that it is for the NYSDHR to examine the issue in the first place. Thus, the case was dismissed because of his failure to exhaust administrative remedies.
Law review commentary on this important issue would be most welcome.