English-Language Learners

District Pays Out $150K to Settle Immigrant’s Discrimination Lawsuit

By Corey Mitchell — April 20, 2017 1 min read

The Manchester, N.H., schools have agreed to pay $150,000 to the family of an immigrant student to settle a lawsuit alleging discrimination and retaliation for filing a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education’s office for civil rights.

A lawsuit filed in federal court last November by EdLaw New England alleges that the district denied the student his “constitutional and statutory rights” to equal access to public education, after he was accused of assaulting a student in 2014.

The district expelled the student, then an 8th-grader, for allegedly assaulting another student.

After the expulsion, his family—immigrants from South Sudan—filed a complaint with the federal government alleging that the district conducted all the disciplinary hearings in English, a language that they did not fully understand and failed to provide an interpreter or translated documents for the hearings.

The lawsuit also alleged that the student faced frequent discrimination and harassment as a part of a campaign of retaliatory acts after the federal government informed the school district that it was under investigation of the family’s initial complaint. The EdLaw lawyers alleged that, because of the harassment, the student was denied his right to equal access to public education.

The district and law group announced the settlement this week. Here’s a copy of the statement of settlement obtained by the New Hampshire Union Leader:

A version of this news article first appeared in the Learning the Language blog.