Agency Title VI Briefs and Decisions

Agency Title VI Briefs and Decisions

Court Relies on Department of Justice’s Brief in Denying the Dismissal of Discrimination Case Alleging School District Failed to Translate Documents for Limited English Proficient Students with Disabilities and Their Parents:

 

On November 30, the District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania denied the Philadelphia School District’s motion to dismiss a complaint alleging that the school district provides inadequate translation and interpretation services to LEP students with disabilities and their parents. In T.R. v. Sch. Dist. of Philadelphia, 2:15-cv-04782-MSG (E.D. Pa. Nov. 30, 2016), the plaintiffs alleged national origin discrimination by the school district for failing to provide complete and timely translation and interpretation of special education and general education documents and meetings.

DOJ’s Civil Rights Division filed a brief in the case on January 25, 2016, explaining that, under Title VI case law and federal regulations and guidance, the school district has an obligation to provide LEP parents a meaningful opportunity to participate in the development of their children’s education programs, and that the plaintiffs have adequately alleged intentional discrimination under the relevant Title VI standards. The brief also supported the plaintiffs’ claims under the Equal Educational Opportunities Act of 1974 (EEOA). On September 28, DOJ participated in oral arguments, and in the November 30 decision, the court relied on arguments raised in the brief in refusing to dismiss the EEOA and Title VI claims. In particular, the court held that the Supreme Court’s decision in Lau v. Nichols, 414 U.S. 563 (1974) “instructs that language based discrimination can constitute an actionable form of national origin discrimination.”