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A federal judge has dismissed a lawsuit alleging that several residents of Cambridge, Mass., violated federal and state civil-rights laws when they fought the attempt by a private alternative school with a large black enrollment to move into the city.

Several parents of students at the Commonwealth Day School, which has since ceased operations, filed the suit against four neighbors of the school's proposed location in Cambridge. The school's 1988 move from Boston prompted a bitter battle over municipal permits, as several prominent residents of Cambridge--the home of Harvard University--signed petitions against the school. Some residents later disavowed their signatures. (See Education Week, Oct. 11, 1989.)

The parents' suit alleged that the neighbors conspired with city inspectors to deny or delay zoning approval and an occupancy permit for the school's proposed move into an existing building. The school eventually was granted municipal approval, but school officials said it came too late to attract new students, and they decided to move back to Boston in 1989. The school closed last August.

Vol. 13, Issue 30

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