Justice Department supervision of Allentown schools extended

    The Allentown School District is agreeing to an additional year’s supervision of its handling of sexual harassment cases by the U.S. Justice Department.

    The Morning Call newspaper reported Thursday that the two sides reached a compromise to extend a 2012 consent decree until July 2016.

    The federal agency had urged that the district remain under its supervision until 2017 because it had not complied with the decree stemming from a lawsuit over the sexual abuse of five elementary-school students by an older boy in 2003 and 2004. The order requires the district to improve its compliance with the federal law banning sexual discrimination in schools.

    Allentown Superintendent Russ Mayo says the agreement validates progress made by the school district and potentially shortens the length of the consent decree.

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