Expert: Feds will pressure settlement for South Philly High

    Asian-American students complained about being targeted and bullied. Anil Kalhan of Drexel Law School says when the U.S. Justice Department sides against a school, they generally pressure the district to strike a deal.

    The Justice Department is reportedly siding with Asian-American students at South Philadelphia High School in their fight for a safer school environment. Students have complained of targeted attacks – largely from African American students – at the school.

    In a letter to the school district, federal investigators said Asian students were indeed bullied and attacked at South Philadelphia High School, and that the district needs to settle a complaint filed by the Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund.

    Anil Kalhan is Associate Professor of Law at Drexel University. He says the federal government has gotten involved in such cases before, and can even pursue civil litigation against the district.

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    “It certainly isn’t unprecedented when these kinds of issues with the level of severity that have taken place in this high school has occurred, there certainly have been some instances where the government has sued the school and then in that process entered into a consent decree.”

    The school district declined a request to disclose the letter, but issued a statement.

    “We look forward to working with the Department of Justice to find the necessary solutions to these long-standing issues.”

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