Jailed Juveniles Denied Education, Class Says

     TACOMA, Wash. (CN) – Youth offenders in Pierce County Jail are denied access to any form of education, according to a class action in Pierce County Court. The guardians of a jailed juvenile say the state Constitution grants all minors the right to a free public education.

     The 17-year-old’s guardians, who filed suit on behalf of other incarcerated youth, say they have repeatedly pestered Pierce County and the Tacoma Public Schools to provide teachers, classes, books and other educational services and materials for their children. The county allegedly ignored these demands, “in spite of its knowledge that such services were mandated by state and federal law.”
     To this day, the defendants “have provided no actual instruction” to the incarcerated kids, the lawsuit claims.
     Plaintiffs seek an order forcing the schools and county to comply with the state Constitution’s education requirement. They are represented by Gavin Thornton with Columbia Legal Services.
     Randy Dorn, superintendent of public instruction, is also named as a defendant.

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