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 and : THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, : COMPLAINT-IN-INTERVENTION Plaintiff-intervenor, : vs. : 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 as follows:
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 language program.
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 paragraph 13.
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 County, Utah.
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.
JANET RENO Attorney General DEVAL L. PATRICK Assistant Attorney General Civil Rights Division SCOTT M. MATHESON, JR. United States Attorney NATHANIEL DOUGLAS Chief LAWRENCE R. BACA Attorney U.S. Department of Justice Civil Rights Division Educational Opportunities Litigation Section Washington, D.C. 20530
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