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Saturday, April 13, 2024 | Back issues
Courthouse News Service Courthouse News Service

Students Lacked Detail in Suit over School Discipline

RALEIGH, N.C. (CN) - The North Carolina Court of Appeals gave minority students in the Durham Public Schools a grade of "incomplete" on their claim that the school system's discipline code unfairly targeted suspected gang members.

Despite the proposed class action's length of 575 paragraphs, the complaint did not state specific claims from the eight current and former students against individual defendants who work for public schools.

"By relying on broad assertions on (school) discipline and defendants - without distinguishing among the defendants - plaintiffs omitted key allegations to survive a motion to dismiss," Judge Geer wrote.

The judge ruled that the plaintiffs never properly connected their suspensions with their allegations of racial profiling.

"Plaintiffs could have alleged that the suspensions imposed were because of their race, but they did not do so," Geer noted.

However, Geer ruled that the plaintiffs did properly assert that the school board's policy on gangs was vague and unenforceable. That portion of the lawsuit will be remanded to trial court.

And because the lengthy appeal was filed too late, the court chose to consider it, but charged the plaintiff's lawyers the price of printing it.

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