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Sunday, July 21, 2024 | Back issues
Courthouse News Service Courthouse News Service

Houston Schools Are Racist, Parents Say

HOUSTON (CN) - The Houston Independent School District discriminates against poor, black and Hispanic students by spending disproportionate amounts of $1.5 billion in public bond money on wealthier, whiter schools, parents claim in Federal Court. They claim HISD "launched a sneak attack" against poor and minority kids by filing its own lawsuit in Austin, two days after the latest bond election, to try to preclude this expected lawsuit.

Plaintiffs cite the district neglect of Key Middle School, which had to be closed because of toxic mold infestation, but not until after HISD had denied there was a problem, despite the testimony of its own experts, and kept the school open for two months, subjecting students, teachers and staff to the poisons. "HISD was forced to close the school in October after federal investigators for the Centers for Disease Control confirmed the presence of mold," the complaint states.

Plaintiffs also cite deplorable conditions in Booker T. Washington High School, Jack Yates High School, Ryan Middle School and Thomas Jackson Middle School, including "dilapidated facilities, inadequate equipment and libraries and fewer educational opportunities."

They claim HISD intends to continue its discriminatory and illegal spending with an $805 million bond that voters approved in November. They claim HISD "launched a sneak attack" two days after the bond election, by filing a pre-emptory lawsuit, in Austin, "with the hope that no one in Harris County would notice," to try to head off anticipated litigation, such as this lawsuit.

Plaintiffs demand an injunction. They are represented by Ty Clevenger of Bryan, Texas. See complaint.

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