ACLU files motion to immediately allow admittance of all refugees 17-21 to Lancaster high school
Posted by Ann Corcoran on September 17, 2016
To taxpayers and parents in ‘welcoming’ communities nationwide, are your ready for expensive legal wrangling in your school system as your town’s refugee population grows? You better be!
Lancaster, PA has been a “welcoming” community for refugees from all over the world for years, and now they are receiving them at a rate of 700 a year. In that group are teenage refugees who do not speak English and may have not had any, or very little, formal schooling. Those teenagers/adults 17-21 had been placed in an alternative school until recently.
I told you about the earlier trial here which ended in a judge ordering those who brought the case admitted to McCaskey High School.
However, now here comes the ACLU demanding that the School District of Lancaster admit 90 students to the traditional high school immediately.
The ACLU of Pennsylvania has filed an emergency motion against the School District of Lancaster (SDOL) that seeks to force the district to enroll all refugee students ages 17 to 21 in traditional high school rather than an alternative school.
If the ACLU’s motion is granted, the School District of Lancaster would have to admit more than 90 refugees into the district from privately-run Phoenix Academy. In a news release, the ACLU pointed to the Aug. 26 ruling ordering the school to admit the original six students who filed suit against the district into McCaskey High School, adding that the ruling from District Judge Edward Smith encouraged the district to apply the court’s ruling to all refugee students of similar circumstances.
Noting email exchanges involving a local refugee resettlement agency*** [on the side of the ACLU–ed] and district officials illustrating a lack of desire for widespread change, the ACLU also said the district’s actions show it has no intention of honoring the court’s legal reasoning. Without intervention from the law, the the students continue to suffer irreparable harm from the enrollment delays and exclusion from the high school, the ACLU contends.
The emergency motion comes two days after the SDOL filed its own motion for a stay on the August ruling as well as a motion to expedite the appeal it formally filed Sept 2. The district enrolled the six students who sued and won but have not admitted any other refugee students, citing overcrowding and logistical issues, according to reports and its motions.
Where is the ‘pocket of resistance’ in Lancaster, or is it too late for Lancaster?
We have written a lot about Lancaster, click here, for our archive.
***The primary federal resettlement contractor in Lancaster is Church World Service. Does CWS operate in your town, see here.