Starting with its role in filing Morgan v. Hennigan, Boston’s school desegregation case, the Lawyers’ Committee has worked to protect the civil and educational rights of Massachusetts’ students. Today, the Committee’s Education Project addresses a variety of educational matters in traditional public, charter, and private schools.
The Education Project monitors key issues of educational equity in Boston and across the Commonwealth. These issues include student assignment, transportation, school closures, teacher diversity, and other factors considered by federal courts both today and in Boston’s school desegregation order. To address these matters, the Education Project engages in litigation, policy advocacy, and administrative advocacy, such as filing complaints with the U.S. Department of Education under Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
The Education Project pays particular attention to school discipline. The Project is concerned by the high rates of out-of-school punishments and school-based arrests in some Massachusetts public and charter schools and the disparate use of these practices on students of color and students with disabilities. In 2012, the Lawyers’ Committee supported the passage of a state law to curb the overuse of exclusionary punishments. Through filing civil rights complaints and engaging in public advocacy, the Education Project is working to see the law implemented faithfully.
Click here for our landmark report, Not Measuring Up: The State of School Discipline in Massachusetts.
Click here for our groundbreaking toolkit for students, families, teachers, and community members who want to improve discipline in their schools.