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ACLU to file federal complaint claiming RPS discrimination

Published: Aug. 24, 2016 at 12:42 AM EDT|Updated: Aug. 24, 2016 at 12:26 PM EDT
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RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - The Legal Aid Justice Center and the American Civil Liberties Union of Virginia will make an announcement about the filing of a complaint with the United States Department of Education detailing alleged discrimination in discipline practices by Richmond Public Schools against African-American students and students with disabilities.

"This is no ordinary complaint," said Marty Jewell, who is the Richmond NAACP education committee chair. "This is a massive complaint."

Jewell notes a recent report from the Center for Public Integrity found Virginia leads the nation when it comes to referring students to law enforcement.

"Worst than that," said Jewell. "Most of those that they send to law enforcement are children of color. It's hugely out of balance, and it has to stop."

Jewell says the Legal Aid Justice Center will reveal a lengthy report outlining perceived problems.

"Problems like untrained special education teachers," said Jewell. "If you don't have trained special education teachers to address all of these issues, they fail our children."

The formal announcement will come Wednesday at 11 a.m. at the ACLU offices in Richmond. Richmond school leaders declined to comment until after the announcement.

Stay with NBC12 for updates on this developing story.

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