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Education department civil rights office opens investigation of Richmond schools

[JURIST] Advocacy groups Legal Aid Justice Center and the American Civil Liberties Union of Virginia [advocacy websites] announced Monday [press release] that the US Department of Education [official website] has launched a civil rights investigation of Richmond Public Schools. The probe comes at the request of advocacy groups who argue [Richmond Times-Dispatch report] the district's disciplinary policies discriminate against black students and students with disabilities. Legal Aid Justice Center and the American Civil Liberties Union of Virginia [advocacy websites] argued that disparities could be found in the treatment of the impacted students. Richmond Public School officials have pledged to cooperate with the federal education department.

Treatment of students has become an increasingly prevalent issue in American society. Last week New York passed a law [JURIST report] offering free college tuition to state residents. In March the ACLU reached a settlement [JURIST report] with a Pennsylvania school district over the placement and education of refugee students. Earlier that month the Supreme Court ruled [JURIST report] school district must individualize education for disabled students. In February the Trump administration revoked public school transgender bathroom guidelines [JURIST report] implemented by the Obama administration. Also in February the Supreme Court remanded a dispute [JURIST report] regarding a disabled student with a service dog and a school's refusal to accommodate the student.

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