Tuesday, November 22, 2016

4 NJ Schools Settle Discrimination Lawsuits

Four New Jersey school districts and one charter school will change or clarify enrollment forms that prompted lawsuits claiming discrimination.
Fair Lawn School District, Jamesburg School District, Spotswood School District, Port Republic School and Jersey City Global Charter School will make it clear that parents can enroll their children without providing a drivers license or other documents that unauthorized immigrants do not have, according to settlements with the American Civil Liberties Union of New Jersey.

The ACLU had accused the districts of violating a 1982 Supreme Court decision forbidding school districts from excluding children based on immigration status. Asking parents to provide a drivers license to enroll their children discriminates against the children of immigrants living in the country illegally, the ACLU said.

"The ACLU of New Jersey is grateful that the districts recognized the clarity of the law on this issue and quickly settled all of the cases," said ACLU-NJ Senior Staff Attorney Alexander Shalom.

There is no evidence that any of the districts refused to enroll students based on their immigration status, the ACLU said. Several of the districts said the lawsuits were based on a misunderstanding of their enrollment practices and quickly made changes to make their enrollment forms more clear.

"It truly is unfortunate that in our small community our severely limited taxpayer dollars will have to be spent responding to the lawsuit, when a phone call could have resolved this non-issue," Port Republic Superintendent John Davis, said after the suit was filed.
in 2014, the ACLU sued 138 New Jersey school districts over similar concerns.


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