Civil Rights Suits Against Schools More Than Double in Last Four Years
(16 Aug 2017) The latest available data from the federal courts show that civil rights suits against schools have more than doubled during the last four years. During July 2017 the government reported 51 new civil lawsuits over alleged violations of civil rights involving schools, colleges and other educational institutions. According to the case-by-case court records analyzed by the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC) at Syracuse University this brings the total of such suits to 497 during the first ten months of FY 2017.

If a similar pace of filings continues through the end of FY 2017, civil rights filings involving educational institutions will reach an estimated 596 during a single year. This would be the largest number recorded since the court began tracking this class of cases in October of 2011.

During FY 2017, the largest volume of litigation involved the treatment of students with disabilities. Over four out of ten suits (41.6%) cited a cause of action based upon this allegation vis-a-vis students.

Thus far this year the largest number of civil rights cases involving schools have been filed in the Southern District of New York (Manhattan). In that district alone there have been 37 new suits. New Jersey was second with 33 suits, followed by the District of Columbia with 28.

The Eastern District of Pennsylvania (Philadelphia) came in fourth with 26 new suits, followed by the Northern District of Ohio (Cleveland) in fifth place with 20.

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