Equity & Diversity

N.Y.C. School to Address Complaints of Harassment

By Catherine Gewertz — June 09, 2004 1 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

The New York City school district has agreed to provide diversity and tolerance training for students at a Brooklyn high school where Asian-American students were regularly harassed.

If approved by a federal judge, the consent decree, made public on June 1, would settle a complaint filed by the U.S. Department of Justice.

The complaint contended that Lafayette High School students threw food, cans, and combination locks at Asian-American students and shouted racial slurs at them. District officials, it said, “deliberately ignored severe and pervasive harassment” at the school.

The Justice Department also maintained that district officials didn’t do enough to help immigrant students participate fully in the school’s academic program.

The agreement would obligate the school to take steps to ensure students do not harass their peers, and it would require that officials respond properly if such incidents occur.

Michael Best, the general counsel for the New York City education department, said in a statement that Lafayette High is working to “heighten awareness” of its racial and ethnic diversity and “minimize harassment” by providing academic and social programs and presentations for students.

The school will clearly communicate its anti-harassment policy to students and their families, Mr. Best said, and “diversity and tolerance training will be provided to all students.”

Reports of Trouble

As part of the consent decree, officials agreed to provide appropriate placement and academic counseling for students, and provide foreign-language interpreters where necessary.

New York newspapers have carried reports of violence and other trouble at Lafayette High for several years. The New York Times reported in 2001 that administrators there forced five Chinese immigrant students to leave the school after three years because they had completed their graduation requirements. They were allowed to return several weeks later.

Related Tags:

A version of this article appeared in the June 09, 2004 edition of Education Week as N.Y.C. School to Address Complaints of Harassment


Student Well-Being K-12 Essentials Forum Boosting Student and Staff Mental Health: What Schools Can Do
Join this free virtual event based on recent reporting on student and staff mental health challenges and how schools have responded.
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Curriculum Webinar
Practical Methods for Integrating Computer Science into Core Curriculum
Dive into insights on integrating computer science into core curricula with expert tips and practical strategies to empower students at every grade level.
Content provided by Learning.com

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

Equity & Diversity Race Is a Big Factor in School Closures. What You Need to Know
Districts are more likely to close majority Black schools, researcher says.
5 min read
Key in keyhole on wood door
iStock/Getty Images Plus
Equity & Diversity Opinion There's a Difference Between Equity and Equality. Schools Need to Understand That
Equity looks different depending on the situation, and it's not always straightforward. That can cause confusion.
15 min read
Images shows colorful speech bubbles that say "Q," "&," and "A."
Equity & Diversity What the Research Says New National Data Show Depth of Disparities in a Chaotic Year of Schooling
The first federal civil rights data released since the pandemic show that inequities persisted even when school buildings shut down.
10 min read
Tanya Holyfield, a second grade teacher with Manchester Academic Charter School, teaches remote students from her classroom on March 4, 2021, in Pittsburgh.
Tanya Holyfield, a 2nd grade teacher at Manchester Academic Charter School, teaches remote students from her classroom on March 4, 2021, in Pittsburgh. New federal data from the 2020-21 school year show that longstanding inequities among groups of students did not change much even in a year when many students spent all or part of the year in remote and hybrid learning.
Andrew Rus/Pittsburgh Post-Gazette via AP
Equity & Diversity Opinion Am I Anti-Equity? You Decide
The push for equity has taken us into territory where "pro-equity" ideologues are doing destructive things in the education space.
5 min read
Image shows a multi-tailed arrow hitting the bullseye of a target.
DigitalVision Vectors/Getty