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Montclair School District Sued Over Student Discrimination
David Herron, president of the Montclair Chapter of the NAACP, claims his son, an eighth grader at Glenfield Middle School, was discriminated against and graded unfairly when the student took a standardized mid-term test. Herron filed suit in state Superior Court, accusing the district of discrimination and is seeking compensatory and punitive damages. From the Star Ledger:
In the lawsuit, Herron, who is the president of the Montclair chapter of the NAACP, said his 14 year old son was absent because of illness on Jan. 22, the day the standardized midterm test was administered to other students, and given the exam on Jan. 24 upon his return.
At that time, the lawsuit says, teacher Sharon Hurwich on three occasions told the student that he had one hour to take the test, even though the instructions stated two hours.
"Defendant Hurwich told plaintiff "JMH" that the other students had been given exactly the same amount of time; in fact, defendant Hurwich also stated to plaintiff that he was given more time than the other students," the lawsuit said.
On March 21, the math test was returned to the boy, one of only two African-Americans in the class: The student had just one math problem incorrect, the lawsuit says, but received a "B" because seven points were taken off because he did not date the paper.
"No white students were similarly penalized; even those who failed to put the date and/or their names on the test," the lawsuit says.
Through a spokeswoman, Frank Alvarez, Monclair's schools superintendent, said he could not comment on pending litigation.
The lawsuit, which seeks a jury trial, also names Glenfield's principal, Joanne Petrigliano, and Ted Lawrence, assistant principal, as defendants.
May 9, 2006 in Controversy | Permalink
how much is this jury trial going to cost us?
Posted by: pissant | May 9, 2006 9:15:00 AM
"i have a dream that one day
my children will be judged on the
content of their character
and not the color of their skin"
Posted by: Iceman | May 9, 2006 9:17:55 AM
i have a dream that one day
my children will be judged on their
ability to follow instructions
and not on the lawsuits that their parents file
Posted by: pissant | May 9, 2006 9:21:43 AM
Gee, I thought everyone knew that if you don't put your name and date on a standardized test, points are taken off. They did that when I went to school, too, so why should this kid be treated with *kid gloves*?
Posted by: Miss Martta | May 9, 2006 9:36:24 AM
Please note in the story, Miss Martta that: "No white students were similarly penalized; even those who failed to put the date and/or their names on the test," the lawsuit says."
Posted by: Mars in Montclair | May 9, 2006 9:45:42 AM
I think its in very bad taste that some people use Martin Luther King's "I have a dream" speech as a way to ridicule an African American child and their family. As it totally misses the point....
Posted by: lasermike026 | May 9, 2006 9:48:09 AM
The kid didn't follow directions! I don't care if he's black, white, or green with purple polka dots!
Posted by: Miss Martta | May 9, 2006 9:49:39 AM
Geewiz, I'm suprised that they couldn't settle this out of court.
Posted by: lasermike026 | May 9, 2006 9:49:44 AM
"Geewiz, I'm suprised that they couldn't settle this out of court."
Exactly! Why does everything have to evolve into a lawsuit? Once again, it all comes down to color, the color green, that is.
Posted by: Miss Martta | May 9, 2006 9:52:02 AM
It appears that the teacher didn't follow the directions and arbitrarily penalized the student.
Posted by: lasermike026 | May 9, 2006 9:53:06 AM
Therein may lie the rub.
Posted by: Johnny | May 9, 2006 9:56:44 AM
It appears that the teacher did not administer the test equally. In the highly charged academic careers of students where grades determines future earning potential a court case does not seem extreme. I'm just surprised that the teacher couldn't make a deal. I would have.
Posted by: lasermike026 | May 9, 2006 10:00:16 AM
I would have tried to settle this within the confines of the school (among the kids, parents, teachers, the principal, etc.) rather than take it to the courts, that's all.
Posted by: Miss Martta | May 9, 2006 10:03:31 AM
It doesn't "appear" as anything. We have one side of the story from the plantiff. The other side will only come out in court. So to assume we "know" anything is a stretch.
Posted by: Right of Center | May 9, 2006 10:04:43 AM
"I think its in very bad taste that some people use Martin Luther King's "I have a dream" speech as a way to ridicule an African American child and their family. As it totally misses the point...."
I most certainly did not, Laser, the quote stands by itself. Why does every issue have to come down to color? The Father is perpetuating racism and letting his son know that whenever you fail or feel mistreated then cry racism. I find it disengenious and gutless.
Posted by: Iceman | May 9, 2006 10:05:03 AM
But, what is at stake here is credibility.
If the teacher was discriminatory, they they and the school district should be punished in a way commensurate with the "offense". If, however, it turns out that this is a frivolous suit, then Mr. Herron will be, to some degree, discredited and any future claims of bias brought by him should be doubly scrutinized.
Posted by: Right of Center | May 9, 2006 10:09:32 AM
He's gonna lose that lawsuit because he is black. That would be irony.
Posted by: Taylor Ham | May 9, 2006 10:10:07 AM
Focus people. The question is: Was there unequal treatment with because of race? It has nothing to do with following directions or making mistakes.
Posted by: State Street Pete | May 9, 2006 10:10:13 AM
It is true, things may be different than they appear.
I think its a stretch to say the Father is perpetuating racism. He's black and most of the time racism is perpetrated ON him.
Posted by: lasermike026 | May 9, 2006 10:13:49 AM
Racism may only be one part of the argument and the path that the trial may take can change.
Posted by: lasermike026 | May 9, 2006 10:15:39 AM
What's a "standardized midterm test"? If this is one of those mandated standardized tests, then there's no consequence to the individual child for getting a B versus an A, so what exactly can you sue for/? If it's a midterm given by the classroom teacher, that's another kettle of fish.
Posted by: walleroo | May 9, 2006 10:25:30 AM
uh oh, the italics went crazy. (Sorry.)
Posted by: walleroo | May 9, 2006 10:26:20 AM
Posted by: walleroo | May 9, 2006 10:26:50 AM
did this work?
Posted by: walleroo | May 9, 2006 10:27:33 AM
(oh. how the italicized mighty have fallen!)
Posted by: Right of Center | May 9, 2006 10:27:38 AM