Details emerge in Lower Merion racial discrimination suit

    A new wrinkle has emerged in a racial discrimination suit filed against Lower Merion School District. Plaintiffs in the case recently made their personal experiences publicly available.

    Seven current and former students say the district intentionally denied their right to an equal education.

    The African-American plaintiffs claim that they were incorrectly placed in remedial and special education classes as a way of segregating them from white students.

    Until recently, the individual details of that collective experience were kept private. They were originally released as a response to the school district’s motion to dismiss the case.

    Attorney Carl Hittinger, who represents the students, described the brief.

    “It tells their story of racial discrimination that they’ve encountered at the school starting in elementary school, from junior high school, into the high school,” he said. “The statistics alone show quite dramatically that the percentage of African-American students that have been placed in special education is overwhelmingly higher than the percentage in the population in Lower Merion School District.”

    A spokesman for Lower Merion says the suburban school district maintains that no racial discrimination took place.

    Hittinger says a trial could start by late fall if a judge denies the district’s motion to dismiss.

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