SCOTT M. MATHESON, JR.
United States Attorney, 4714
JOSEPH W. ANDERSON
Assistant United States Attorney, 0097
Attorneys for the United States of America
Room 478 United States Courthouse
350 South Main Street
Salt Lake City, Utah 84101
LAWRENCE R. BACA
Attorney for Plaintiff-Intervenor, 16783
United States of America
P.O. Box 65958
Washington, D.C. 20035-5958
Telephone: (202) 514-3874
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
DISTRICT OF UTAH, CENTRAL DIVISION
JIMMY SINAJINI, et. al., :
Plaintiffs, : Case No. 2:74-CV-346-W
THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, : COMPLAINT-IN-INTERVENTION
BOARD OF EDUCATION OF THE SAN :
JUAN COUNTY SCHOOL DISTRICT,
et. al., :
Defendants, : Judge David K. Winder
The United States of America, plaintiff-intervenor, alleges
1. This complaint-in-intervention is filed by the Attorney
General of the United States on behalf of the United States,
pursuant to 42 U.S.C. .2000h-2; Title IV of the Civil Rights Act
of 1964, 42 U.S.C. .2000c-6; Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of
1964, 42 U.S.C. .2000d, its implementing regulations, 34 C.F.R.
100 et seq.; the Equal Educational Opportunities Act of 1974, 20
U.S.C. .1703; the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States
Constitution; and Rules 24(a)(1), 24(a)(2) and 24(b)(2) of the
Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.
2. This is a case of general public importance and has
been so certified by the Attorney General of the United States.
3. This complaint-in-intervention is timely.
4. Jurisdiction over the original complaint arises under
28 U.S.C. ..1331, 1343(a)(3), 1367, and 1391. Jurisdiction over
this complaint-in-intervention arises additionally under 28
U.S.C. .1345 and 42 U.S.C. .2000h-2.
5. Defendant Board of Education of the San Juan County
School District (hereafter, the "Board of Education" or the
"Board") is a body public as provided under .53A-3-401 of the
Utah State Code and is responsible for the administration of the
system of public education in San Juan County, Utah.
6. Defendant Jerald Mikesell is the Superintendent of the
San Juan County School District and is responsible for the day-
to-day administration of the School District, pursuant to .53A-3-
301 of the Utah State Code. He is sued in his official capacity.
7. Defendants Bill Todachennie, President of the School
Board, Pete Black, Vice President of the School Board, Neal
Crank, Preston Nielson and Paul Mantz, members of the School
Board, are responsible for the management, control, and operation
of the School District, pursuant to .53A-3-402 of the Utah State
Code. Each is sued in his official capacity.
8. Each of the individual defendants named in paragraphs 6
and 7 reside within San Juan County, State of Utah.
9. The School District is a recipient of federal financial
assistance, and as such is subject to Title VI of the Civil
Rights Act of 1964 and its implementing regulations.
10. On February 1, 1994, the Office for Civil Rights (OCR),
Department of Education, notified Superintendent Mikesell, by
letter, that: (a) OCR had been unable to secure voluntary
compliance in accordance with a prior commitment of the School
Board to adopt and implement an alternative language program for
limited-English-proficient national-origin minority
students (namely Navajo and Ute Indian students); and (b)the
School District continues to violate Title VI by virtue of its
failure to correct the findings of noncompliance with Title VI
set out in OCR's letter, dated December 12, 1991, as supplemented
by OCR's October 20, 1993 letter. OCR also advised
Superintendent Mikesell in its February 1, 1994 letter that the
matter would be referred to the Department of Justice, within 10
days for judicial enforcement, unless the School District
demonstrated compliance with Title VI and its prior agreement
with OCR to adopt and implement an appropriate alternative
11. On February 22, 1994, after the School District failed
to comply with OCR's February 1, 1994 letter, OCR referred the
matter to Department of Justice. OCR requested that the Attorney
General, on behalf of the Secretary of the United States
Department of Education, initiate appropriate legal proceedings
to remedy the School District's failure to adopt and implement an
alternate language program for limited-English proficiency
national origin minority students.
12. In addition to the OCR Title VI referral, parents of
American Indian students enrolled in the School District have
filed complaints with the Department of Justice, alleging that
their minor children have been denied equal protection of the
laws as a result of defendants engaging in a number of
discriminatory practices against American Indian students. The
Department of Justice has conducted a preliminary investigation
of the parents' allegations and believes that the defendants have
discriminated against American Indian students based upon their
race and/or national origin.
13. Defendants have failed to provide school facilities to
American Indian students on the same basis as is done for white
students, and by failing to do so have subjected American Indian
students and their parents to extreme hardships, burdens, and
unequal educational services. Specifically, defendants have
engaged in the following discriminatory policies and practices:
(a) Defendants are aware of the need for a school in the
Navajo Mountain area to serve secondary-age children (Grades 9-
12), and that the lack of a school in this area has had the
following negative effects on American Indian school-age children
and their parents:
(b) This denial of equal educational opportunities and
services has forced all of the secondary-age American Indian
students in the Navajo Mountain community to leave their parents,
live away from their families, and attend schools outside of San
Juan County and the State of Utah. Accordingly, the San Juan
County school officials have failed to meet their legal
obligation to provide Navajo Mountain students a public education
and have shifted their obligation to educate these students to
other public school districts and non-public schools.
14. White students in the school district are not subjected
to the burdens and adverse conditions mentioned above in
15. The San Juan County school officials have violated
federal laws and the Fourteenth Amendment by failing to develop
and implement an appropriate alternative language program to meet
the needs of students with limited English-speaking ability and
by subjecting these students to other discriminatory practices,
such as placing them in special education classes, primarily, if
not solely, on the basis of their race and/or national origin and
limited English-speaking proficiency. Because of defendants'
discriminatory policies and practices, American Indian students
with limited English-speaking proficiency have been denied equal
educational opportunities and services based upon their race
and/or national origin and language barriers.
16. Defendants also have violated federal laws and the
Fourteenth Amendment by engaging in the following policies and
practices which have had the effect of denying American Indian
students the same opportunities and services provided to white
students and denying qualified American Indian persons employment
opportunities equal to those provided to white persons. Based
upon information and belief, defendants have engaged in the
following discriminatory polices and practices:
(a) Failing to provide American Indian students, who attend
schools where the enrollment is predominantly American Indian,
facilities equal to those provided to students who attend
majority, or predominantly, white schools.
(b) Failing to provide funding to schools with
predominantly American Indian enrollments and those with majority
or predominantly white enrollments on an equitable basis; and
(c) Failing to provide American Indian students equal
educational opportunities and services, including, for example,
equal access to certain academic programs such as accelerated,
advanced, and gifted classes.
WHEREFORE, the United States prays that this Court:
1. Declare that defendants have unlawfully discriminated
against American Indian students in violation of the Constitution
and laws of the United States by failing to construct a secondary
school in the Navajo Mountain area; failing to develop and
implement an appropriate alternative language program for
American Indian students with limited English-speaking
proficiency and thereby denying these students equal educational
opportunities primarily, if not solely, on the basis of their
language barrier; and engaging in other policies and practices,
as set out in paragraph 16 above.
2. Permanently enjoin defendants, their officers, agents,
employees, successors, assigns, and all persons in active concert
or participation with from all unlawful discrimination on the
basis of race in the operation of the public schools in San Juan
3. Order defendants to formulate, adopt, and fully and
timely implement a plan to remedy fully their discriminatory
polices and practices and to comply with the requirements of
federal law and the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution of
the United States.
The United States further requests that this Court grant
such other additional relief as it deems just and proper.
DEVAL L. PATRICK
Assistant Attorney General
Civil Rights Division
SCOTT M. MATHESON, JR.
United States Attorney
LAWRENCE R. BACA
U.S. Department of Justice
Civil Rights Division
Washington, D.C. 20530