Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Louisiana Charter School Suspends 70 Percent of Students, Advocates File Compliaints

According to a complaint filed by Anna Lellelid and Bill Quigley, Carver Collegiate charter school in New Orleans operates a demerit system, whereby students are cited for everything from not walking in a straight line to wearing too many bracelets and not smiling when shaking hands.  Accumulating too many demerits leads to suspension.  Under this system, the school suspends 68.85 percent of its students at least once a year.

Lellelid and Quigley allege the discipline system and environment is physically and emotionally abusive.  “I’ve heard from students who say they feel so depressed to be treated this way, but they feel they can’t speak out because they will get in trouble,” said Anna Lellelid.  The complaint also alleges that that the discipline system fails to follow the proper processes mandated by law, including the general notice and opportunity to respond process required by Goss v. Lopez and the more specific process required for students with disabilities under the IDEA.  Two additional schools were named in the complaint.

This school seems to typify the type of irrational and unjustified discipline system that I argue violates substantive due process here.  In short,  I develop the argument that the constitutional precludes schools from excluding students for certain relatively innocuous or innocent behavior.

For the longer story on Carver Collegiate, see here.

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