June 10, 2005
Stanford Clinic Successfully Settles Student Suit
The Stanford Youth and Education Law Clinic has just settled a closely watched civil rights lawsuit filed on behalf of wrongfully expelled minority students. The lawsuit, Smith v. Berkeley Unified School District, was a federal class action filed by African American and Latino students after they were wrongfully expelled from Berkeley High School. The students alleged that they were denied their constitutional right to a formal hearing before being excluded from school for various disciplinary reasons.
As part of the settlement in the case, the Berkeley School District has committed to respect the constitutional rights of students, and to reduce the disproportionate impact of its policies on students of color. Once the district court approves the consent decree, the affected students will be reinstated to school and will receive tutoring and other services to compensate for the time they were wrongfully excluded.
The law firm of Pillsbury Winthrop and San Francisco-based Legal Services for Children joined Prof. Bill Koski and Stanford Law School's Youth and Education Law Clinic in championing the rights of the Berkeley students.
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