Legal Analysts

Showing posts with label school discrimination. Show all posts
Showing posts with label school discrimination. Show all posts

Wednesday, April 05, 2023

News 12: Race Discrimination Case Filed Against Sachem East HS

Lieb at Law is featured on News 12 Long Island discussing race discrimination at Sachem East High School.

NBC New York: Lieb at Law Talks to NBC About The Lawsuit Filed Against Sachem East HS For Racist Remarks

Our client was told that her hair was ethnic as opposed to American or normal. 

Tuesday, March 14, 2023

Important Discrimination Bill Passes NYS Senate - It's on the Assembly Now

On 3/13/2023, S3255 passed the NYS Senate and was delivered to the Assembly. 

This Anti-Discrimination Bill is so important to school-children and governmental employees facing discrimination in the State of New York.

Currently, when suing many governmental defendants for discrimination, such as school districts, victims only have one year to bring their claims (except for sexual harassment claims) before the New York State Division of Human Rights. This bill would make the limitations period three years. 

The bill is particularly important to bridge the gap between suing the government and non-governmental actors. When suing a non-government actor for discrimination, a victim can bring a court case, rather than a claim before the New York State Division of Human Rights, under the New York State Human Rights Law, within three years of the wrongful acts of discrimination. 

However, discrimination court cases against the government are often subject to a notice of claim statute where the statute of limitations is effectively limited to ninety days

As a result, many victims of governmental discrimination are out of luck when brining claims because they did not act quickly enough. 

Often times, a claim against a school district for permitting harassment in school is an ongoing case where acts over years demonstrate the discrimination, but recent events only tell an incomplete story. 

This law will bring fairness to the state and protect victims of discrimination.  

We strongly support the passage of this Bill and hope that the Assembly passes it swiftly.

Thursday, May 19, 2022

Education Discrimination FAQs

Is discrimination in school illegal?


Yes, discrimination in education is illegal in the United States. Depending on the state you live in, there may be even greater protections, rights, and damages available to victims and their parents. A student cannot be denied a right to learn.


Who can be a perpetrator of discrimination in education?


When it comes to education, you and your child have a right to be free from harassment, bullying and other forms of wrongful discrimination that is perpetrated by teachers, the administration, or even other students. This applies to public schools, non-religious private schools, career schools, colleges, and universities.


Does discrimination have to be intentional to warrant compensation?


Anti-discrimination laws in education apply regardless of whether the discrimination is explicit or implicit. It is the administration's duty to make education equally accessible to all and this failure can result in a lawsuit.  


What are the most common types of discrimination at school?


Types of discrimination at school include bullying of minorities, the failure to give testing accommodations to disabled students, and the failure to extend days off to religious observers. Additional types of discrimination include equal access to sports between the sexes / genders, and teachers having sex with their students.


What are the federal protections available for discrimination at school?


Title IX of the Educational Amendments protects against sex discrimination while Title VI of the Civil Rights Act addresses race, color, and national origin discrimination, and finally Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) protects against disability discrimination. However, these federal laws on education discrimination were limited by the Supreme Court in 2022 and can, mostly, no longer result in victims receiving emotional distress or punitive damages.


What are New York State protections available for discrimination at school?


New York provides victims with the right to recover for their emotional distress and punitive damages. Additionally, New York adds protections by covering victims of discrimination with respect to more categories, such as race, color, religion, disability, national origin, sexual orientation, military status, sex, age, and marital status. New York even makes clear that its own public school districts can be held accountable for discrimination based on an amendment to its laws from July 25, 2019, A3425.


How long do I have to sue for education discrimination in New York?


If you or your child were a victim of education discrimination, it is important to act quickly and file your claim after hiring a lawyer. In New York State, claims against public school districts must be filed within 3 months after the discriminatory event. While the State's anti-discrimination laws otherwise provide up to 3 years for lawsuits against non-public schools (i.e., private schools / colleges / universities), it's important to act quickly to preserve all the discriminatory evidence (i.e., audio / video), which is done by immediately sending what is known as a spoliation notice.


What can victims of education discrimination in New York recover in compensation?


Discrimination victims, in New York, can recover compensatory damages (being made whole with emotional distress damages), punitive damages (punishment damages), and your attorneys' fees. The perpetrator can lose their license (if licensed as educators or otherwise), be required to take trainings, and be ordered to stop their offensive behavior. There are fines and more.


Can I be retaliated against for speaking out against discrimination at school?


Don't be afraid to speak-up. If you are advancing an anti-discrimination right for yourself or your child, you are protected from retaliation. Even if it is ultimately found that you or your child was not discriminated against, you both can nonetheless be compensated for facing unlawful coercion, intimidation, threats, or other types of interference with your anti-discrimination rights. Again, this is not just true if you are advancing your own rights, it also applies if you are raising your child's rights, or another student's rights, because anti-retaliation laws protect anyone who aids and/or encourages someone else in exercising their rights to be free from discrimination. Give us a call.

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