Students and their parents are suing New York City over school violence. Close to a dozen students and their families filed a class-action lawsuit claiming that public schools are dangerous and that they have been deprived of their right to an education.
The complaint was filed in Brooklyn against the US Department of Education. Among the claims was the assertion that the level of violence disproportionately affects minority students. With 1.1 million students in 1,800 schools, New York City is the largest public school system in the United States.
“The violence knows few boundaries, except that, on average, white and Asian students encounter far fewer incidents of school violence than black and Hispanic students,” the lawsuit said. In addition, the lawsuit claims that disabled students, younger children, and gay, lesbian, and transgender students are frequent targets for abuse.
In some cases, the child plaintiffs in the case are alleged to have suffered bullying by their teachers as well as other students. The education department is accused of failure to enforce regulations, and the lawsuit says that students who report bullying often experience retaliation from schools.