Court arguments begin over claims of racial bias at Lower Merion schools

    A judge will decide if a racial discrimination lawsuit against Lower Merion School District should go to trial.  Lawyers for the seven plaintiffs and the school district argued Tuesday in federal court over the district’s motion to dismiss the case.

    The federal lawsuit centers around claims that the school district systematically discriminated against African American students by putting them in special education programs and the lowest level classes. Outside the courthouse in Center City, Carl Hittinger, who represents the plaintiffs, said, outlined his case.

    “Basically, Lower Merion School District still believes that black students should be segregated from white students,” he said. “And when you look at the statistics, you’ll see that there are a disproportionate number of black students in these classes in comparison to their white counterparts and that shows discrimination.”Hittinger said he wants to see the district change its policies so it’s not discriminatory.  The district stands by its case, said spokesman Doug Young. District officials have said the claims of racial bias are without merit.

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