Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Civil Rights Complaint Charges that New Orleans Charter Schools Have "Culture of Hyper-Discipline"

A federal civil rights complaint has been filed against three New Orleans charter high schools, George Washington Carver Preparatory Academy, George Washington Carver Collegiate Academy and Sci Academy, run by charter management company Collegiate Academies. A parent-student group along with Loyola University New Orleans College of Law have filed the complaint alleging that students at the three schools are subjected to excessive discipline such as suspension  for minor infractions. The plaintiffs say that Collegiate Academies' "no excuses" model pushes out students for non-violent behaviors and require "a culture of hyper-discipline... such as: (1) requiring all students to firmly shake the hands of their teachers and administrators at the beginning of each day and before each class; (2) walking straight on a line; (3) being required to be silent "at level zero" in the hallways; (4) being required to sit in an upright position all day, hands folded on the desk, feet planted firmly on the floor, and looking straight ahead; (5) being required to raise their hand in lock-elbow position in class or receive demerits if their arm is not straight; (6) being suspended for minor misbehaviors like laughing too much and inappropriate displays of affection." The complaint also maintains that the charter schools' students are deprived of their right to an education when students must sit in a room by themselves for the entire day without any work from their classes to do. The suspensions have been applied to special needs students, which violates the students rights under IDEA by suspending for more than ten days without investigating the reason behind the recurring suspensions. Read the complaint, courtesy of nola.com, here

http://lawprofessors.typepad.com/education_law/2014/05/civil-rights-complaint-filed-against-three-new-orleans-charter-schools-for-.html

Charters and Vouchers, News | Permalink

Comments

This complaint, filed by the clinic at my law school, has caused major waves in New Orleans because it is the first serious effort to challenge disciplinary practices in charter schools. The schools identified in the complaints were just the "low hanging fruit" and if this challenge is successful many schools may need to change their discipline practices. The complaint was filed with many entities, but so far only the Louisiana Department of Education has responded. If I learn any new public information I will post it here.

Posted by: Rob Garda | May 16, 2014 10:40:08 AM

Post a comment