Southern Poverty Law Center

Settlement reached in SPLC’s pre-kindergarten discrimination lawsuit

A Florida pre-kindergarten program will take steps to ensure it does not discriminate against children with diabetes as part of a settlement agreement announced today to resolve a federal lawsuit the SPLC filed on behalf of a 3-year-old girl. Under the agreement, The Doral Academy Preschool will monitor students with diabetes, assist with blood glucose tests and take other steps necessary to accommodate their special needs, as required by federal and state law. These steps will help prevent...
Southern Poverty Law Center

Attorney General Holder is right: Racial animus plays role in Obama opposition

Right-wing pundits are jumping all over Attorney General Eric Holder for daring to suggest on Sunday that “racial animus” plays a role in the “level of vehemence” that’s been directed at President Obama. They’re denouncing him for “playing the race card” and “stoking racial divisions.” Who do they think they’re fooling? The rhetoric is what’s hateful. Calling people out for it is not. The racism Holder described has been obvious since the 2008 campaign, when Obama was portrayed as someone who...
Southern Poverty Law Center

Teaching Tolerance announces recipients for national education award

The SPLC’s Teaching Tolerance project announced today the five recipients of the 2014 Teaching Tolerance Award for Excellence in Teaching – a biennial award given to K-12 educators nationwide who excel at promoting respect and a passion for justice among students. “We are proud to present this award to five outstanding teachers who go above and beyond in their work to foster respect and understanding among students,” said Maureen Costello, Teaching Tolerance director. “They’ve all demonstrated...
Southern Poverty Law Center

SPLC civil rights complaint leads to agreement to end discriminatory treatment against Latino students in a Louisiana parish

In Louisiana’s Jefferson Parish public schools, Latino students were beaten by other students at school for speaking Spanish. Students and their parents were harassed for proof of citizenship – both to enroll and to graduate. Schools were permanently closed, and yet families who spoke little or no English were never informed of the closures in their native language. And, routinely, schools failed to provide these families with adequate translation and interpretation assistance so they could be...
Southern Poverty Law Center

President should take executive action to fix guest worker program

President Obama acknowledged a painful truth about our nation’s immigration system last week: It’s not only broken, but some Washington lawmakers are unwilling to lift a finger to fix it. As the president noted, it’s “just politics, plain and simple.” This refusal by lawmakers to govern, particularly by House Republicans, is costing our nation dearly. The president has made the right decision to take whatever executive action is within his power, but there will be little meaningful change if he...
Southern Poverty Law Center

Schoolhouse lessons confront small-town racism

Dayton is a picturesque little burg tucked in the southeastern corner of Washington state. With just over 1,000 families, it is 93 percent white. When racist incidents began last fall, one after another, the community became nervous. No one was more unsettled than Dayton School District Superintendent Douglas Johnson. The people on his campuses were directly affected by the threat. Early one morning last November, just as students were settling into the routine of a new academic year, a teacher...
Southern Poverty Law Center

The Promise of the Civil Rights Act

I can vividly remember the moment, 50 years ago today, when President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act of 1964 into law. His speech that day was a call to action at a time when our nation was deeply divided – and his words resonate even today. “I urge every public official, every religious leader, every business and professional man, every workingman, every housewife – I urge every American – to join in this effort to bring justice and hope to all our people – and to bring peace to...
Southern Poverty Law Center

Stories from the field: SPLC helps poultry workers stand up for their rights

Poultry processing is among the most grueling jobs I have come across in my two-and-a-half years as an outreach paralegal with the SPLC’s Immigrant Justice Project. Workers on the processing line stand shoulder-to-shoulder with a knife in hand, cutting and ripping chicken carcasses that fly by at breakneck speed. For many, it is a dehumanizing experience. Workers who rest their aching hands suffer the invective of line supervisors charged with pushing workers beyond their physical limits....
Southern Poverty Law Center

Stories from the field: SPLC helps student get second chance at education

This past May, I received a phone call that left me fighting back tears of joy. On the other end of the phone was Carlos Kelly, a high school student I had helped a few years ago by getting his expulsion overturned. He was a good kid who just needed a second chance at school. Once the SPLC helped him get that opportunity, he made the most of it: Carlos was calling to invite me to his high school graduation. As I watched him accept his diploma, I felt so proud for this young man who had turned...
Southern Poverty Law Center

SPLC files federal lawsuit over inadequate medical, mental health care in Alabama prisons

The Southern Poverty Law Center and the Alabama Disabilities Advocacy Program (ADAP) filed suit today against the Alabama Department of Corrections (ADOC) for putting the health and lives of prisoners at risk by ignoring their medical and mental health needs and discriminating against prisoners with disabilities – violations of federal law by a prison system that has had one of the highest mortality rates in the country. The lawsuit, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of...

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