Rolling Out

Discrimination of Compton’s children is a formula for a life of violence, disenfranchisement

Compton Unified School District (Photo source: Compton Unified School District website)
Compton Unified School District (Photo source: Compton Unified School District website)

An unprecedented class-action lawsuit is expected to be heard today in Los Angeles Superior Court against the Compton Unified School District. The lawsuit claims that the students in Compton, California, were subjected to traumatic and violent environments that caused significant mental trauma. This trauma manifested in a decreased ability to learn and adapt socially and as such the students suffered from real mental disorders and deserved, but did not receive services for their conditions.

But according to the lawsuit, instead of giving these traumatized students the help they needed, the district punished them with transfers, suspension and expulsions. The suit argues that this trauma is a disability and the district should be providing teacher training, conflict resolution and mental health support for the students of Compton.

The Compton Unified School District disagrees with these claims and is moving to have the case dismissed. School district lawyer David Huff stated, “That’s a very strong mandate, and it needs to be funded. … A sweeping declaration would effectively tell these children that they have now been labeled as having a physical or mental handicap under federal law.”

The impact of this case, if is allowed to go forward, could have a huge impact on school districts across the nation.

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