By Katherine Leal Unmuth
Latino Ed Beat
The U.S. Department of Justice has announced that it will investigate claims of mistreatment of Latino students in the Jefferson Parish Public Schools in Louisiana. The move comes on the heels of a complaint filed in August by the Southern Poverty Law Center, reports the New Orleans Times-Picayune.
The center has alleged that the district did not offer adequate translation services to Spanish-speaking parents and that district administrators did nothing to stop the bullying of Hispanic students. The center also alleges that Hispanic students were told they could not graduate without proof of Social Security numbers.
Since the initial complaint was filed, the district began offering Spanish language courses to principals and encouraged hiring bilingual teachers.
About 17 percent of the district’s 46,000 students are Hispanic. The law center has also previously filed complaints against the district for its treatment of black students and special education students.
The SPLC has also previously filed similar complaints against the Wake County Public Schools and Durham Public Schools in North Carolina.