|18||Introduction to Law *|
|22||ICLRS Development Meeting *|
|Development Meeting *|
|07||Religious Freedom Discussion Series, Gary B. Doxey|
|12||Religious Freedom Discussion Series, David M. Kirkham|
“I attended two “community coffee” meetings in west Jackson (the run-down and impoverished area of town). At these meetings, I met and discussed civil rights issues with many African American community leaders, including ministers, professors, and businessmen. These community leaders welcomed me into their meetings, offering me a free BBQ meal, a tour of Jackson State University, and one man even suggested I should speak at one of these meetings. By discussing and promoting the needs of low-income residents of Jackson, I forwarded MCJ’s goals.
“…the schools in the Mississippi Delta are still overwhelming segregated by race, with blacks attending the run-down public schools and whites attending private institutions. Even in Jackson, where the population is 70% African American, the public school system is 97.5% black. In the Delta, the disparities are even more striking. In some Delta counties, the population is 40% white, but the public schools range from 98 to 100% African American…
“…Chanda Roby, my supervisor, gave me my first solo case. She wanted me to work with the client (a student) and her mother and with the school district that expelled her...... I have continued working on a case of a disabled girl who was expelled from her alternative school for one year. Because she was already kicked out of her original high school, she has no educational opportunities (her mother is single and works fulltime as a house keeper- so home school is not possible- her brother is mentally ill, she cannot find a private school to take her). Because of this situation, the girl will sit at home for one year – unsupervised. Although this girl suffers from various emotional disabilities, the school district refused to evaluate her for special education possibilities (aka “find child,” under IDEA legislation). Thus, I have been researching and preparing her case to pass on to a local attorney who is willing to take her case pro bono.
“[Later that week,] I negotiated with the school district’s assistant superintendent on behalf of the student and explained her unusual home circumstances. The district administrator was sympathetic and open-minded during our 40-minute negotiation. At the end of our conversation, he agreed allow me or an MCJ attorney to represent the student at the expulsion appeal hearing.”
Posted:September 25, 2009