A Michigan lawsuit alleges high rates of illiteracy violate student rights.
Seven Detroit students have accused state officials of allowing illiteracy at a high rate at several schools that are the most poorly functioning. The lawsuit file on their behalf argues that allowing the high rate of illiteracy violates their constitutional rights.
The proposed class action suit in U.S. District Court in Detroit was brought by the nonprofit group Public Counsel. They have described it as the first time a federal case has argued that American children have a constitutional right to literacy.
The lawsuit alleged that the children were forced to learn at campuses that were described as “chaotic”. The schools were infested with mice and cockroaches. Textbooks were so scarce that teachers didn’t assign homework.
“The books are broken, old, torn apart,” Jamarria Hall, a 16-year-old senior who is not one of the plaintiffs said. “You come to school to learn and how can you learn if there’s no books?”