Two families are suing the Anchorage School District for illegal suspension practices. The mothers say that the suspension notices the district sends out don’t include the full reasons for the suspensions, just simplified codes like “74-Dangerous Actions” or “14-Willful Disobedience.”
Jim Davis from the Northern Justice Project, which is arguing the case on behalf of the families, says the incomplete notices violate due process rights because they don’t give families enough information to decide if they want to fight the decision or not.
“You can’t just put it on whichever families are the most aggressive or whichever families make the most phone calls will find out what really happened. Families should be told from the beginning ‘Here’s what happened,” he says.
Six different families have brought up the issue to the Justice Project. Many of them do not speak English as a first language, which makes it harder for them to seek out the full reason for the suspension, Davis argues.
The suit is asking the district to change the policy and tell families the factual reasons behind any suspensions.
The Anchorage School District says they do not comment on any active litigation.