The Township High School District 211 is being investigated by the state attorney general’s (AG) office for possibly violating civil rights law. The district superintendent provided records in May that included records on students cited for municipal ordinance violations like truancy or school-based conduct issues. The AG’s office also asked for records that showed data concerning students’:
- Transfers (to alternative schools)
- Police calls
The AG office requested this data in response to allegations of racial disparity in ticking across the state. These allegations first arose because of the Chicago Tribune and ProPublica investigation and article, “The Price Kids Pay.” This investigation led to the creation of a database of tickets issued at Illinois public schools within the last three school years as well as:
- The reason for the citation
- The racial information/identity of the student who received the ticket (if available)
District 211 reportedly had noticeably high numbers of tickets issued as well as racial disparities relating to who received the ticket. While the investigation is still ongoing, the disparity in ticketing has also been revealed to affect students with disabilities. Black, Latinx, and students with disabilities were often suspended and disciplined (for dress code violations, etc.) more often than white and/or students without disabilities. These students were also referred more often to the local police for issues like misbehavior.
District personnel continues to deny that race or disability affects their disciplinary decisions. However, reports show that district officials were aware of the racial disparity concerns because of a study that they commission in 2020.
Discrimination in Education: Protecting Our Students’ Civil Rights
Public schools are legally prohibited from discriminating against students based on their race, gender, disability status, or other protected characteristics. School discipline policies and practices as well as programs, activities, and educational opportunities should not be unjust or imposed on students differently based on their protected characteristics.
At the Law Office of Steven Fine, our attorney has over 20 years of legal experience, and we are equipped to handle a wide variety of civil rights violation cases. If you or a loved one have faced discrimination based on your age, race, gender, pregnancy, religion, genetics, nation of origin, or ethnicity, we can help you understand your legal rights and options.
To speak with a member of our team, call (312) 436-0638 or reach out online today.