Education A National Roundup

Federal Suit Contends School in Dallas Segregates Latinos

By Mary Ann Zehr — April 25, 2006 1 min read

Administrators at a Dallas elementary school are assigning Latino children to classes on the basis of race, color, or national origin in violation of the U.S. Constitution and civil rights law, the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund claims in a federal lawsuit.

The lawsuit was filed April 18 in the U.S. District Court in Dallas on behalf of Lucresia Mayorga Santamaria, the mother of three Latino children who attend Preston Hollow Elementary School and aren’t named in the suit.

The complaint maintains that one of the three children, a 5th grader, doesn’t have limited proficiency in English but is still assigned to an English-as-a-second-language class with a majority of minority students. In addition, according to the suit, the school doesn’t integrate Latino students with non-Hispanic white students for classes outside the core curriculum, such as art, music, and physical education.

Sandra Guerrero, a spokeswoman for the 158,700-student Dallas Independent School District, said district officials don’t comment on pending lawsuits.