The Central Valley Movement Building is pleased to announce in conjunction with Legal Services of California (LSC) the release of our first compiled Legal Resources Guide for the Central Valley.
Our legal resources guide includes over a hundred agencies, attorneys and advocacy groups that provide pro bono and paid services for students and parents. The guide includes contact information and the areas of practice for each listing.
Legal groups include, the Fresno ACLU chapter, California Rural and Legal Assistance, Office of Clients’ Rights Advocacy, and National Center for Youth Law. Nearly all the groups in the list provide Special Education law services, as well as civil rights and constitutional law services.
Legal Resource Guide
With the kind of advocacy work that Central Valley Movement Building and our partners do, we sometimes to have to acquire legal services to help us take action in a school district. Taking legal recourse is not something we look forward to doing, but it’s often a last recourse of action to protect the rights and needs of students and parents.
Before Contacting Legal Services
Before contacting legal services, we suggest the following steps be taken:
- Contact your school and district administrators about complaints and issues you have regarding your children.
- Contact Central Valley Movement Building or one of our local partner groups that can assist you.
- Review the requirements of filing a Uniform Complaint Form with the California State Department of Education.
CVMB Partners Take Legal Action
Currently, several CVMB partners are engaged in legal actions to address complaints and grievances with school districts in the Central Valley. Here’s a few examples:
- Last year, as part of a coalition of nonprofit advocacy group, the Black Parallel School Board of Sacramento filed a class action discrimination lawsuit against the Sacramento Unified School District on behalf of students with disabilities, especially Black students with disabilities.
- In January of 2019, the California Department of Justice (DOJ) filed a discrimination lawsuit against the Stockton Unified School District based on evidence of systemic discrimination against Black and Latino students and students with disabilities when referring to law enforcement and making arrests. (Source: EdSource) Our partner, Fathers and Families of San Joaquin is part of coalition to monitor and make recommendations and demands on behalf of DOJ’s lawsuit, particularly focusing on the reducing the number of SROs in Stockton schools. (Read our response to that lawsuit.)
- In 2017, “In a substantial victory, the Dolores Huerta Foundation, Latino and Black students, their parents, and community organizations, Kern High School District (KHSD)…agreed to settle a lawsuit in which DHF charged KHSD with disproportionately suspending and expelling students of color due to implicit bias.” (Source: Dolores Huerta Foundation)
These lawsuits reflect the seriousness our work to advocate for the educational rights of parents and students, and to challenge all forms of discrimination in the educational system that push many of our youth into the school-to-prison pipeline.
Other Resource Guides
In addition to our Legal Resource Guide, our Resource Guides page includes other resources we recommend for information about the school-to-prison pipeline, restorative justice and practices, Know Your Rights trainings, and a report card about police schools.
The documents we select are from various organizations and networks that reflect the issues, goals, and practices that CVMB supports and advocates.
We will be adding additional guides and infographics to the page, so be sure to subscribe to our website for updates.
If you have a guide or resource that you would like to share with us, feel free to email it to us.