News

Tom McDonald, Carl Hittinger Quoted in Wilmington News Journal Article Regarding Amended Complaint against Indian River School District

News / May 5, 2017

BakerHostetler Partner Tom McDonald, leader of the firm’s International Policy team and former U.S. Ambassador to Zimbabwe (1997 – 2001), and Philadelphia Partner Carl Hittinger are quoted in a May 5, 2017, Wilmington News Journal article regarding a lawsuit filed by the firm on behalf of the Coalition for Education Reform. The lawsuit, which accuses Indian River School District in Sussex County, Delaware, of racial discrimination, accuses the school district of using George Washington Carver Academy as a punitive dumping ground for African-Americans. The article reports that the Coalition for Education Reform filed an amended complaint on May 2, 2017, adding two families with children in the district and three other individuals who attended the school. The article states:

The amended complaint also says the George Washington Carver Academy had an abusive and prison-like environment, as well as the original complaint that the school district neglects the needs of children at the George Washington Carver Academy and forces students as young as 3 years old who attend that school to share a campus with students who are 18.

"The operation of George Washington Carver Academy by the Indian River School District has perpetuated racial discrimination and has led to the neglect of the needs of many of its African-American students, including those with learning-disabilities," said Carl Hittinger and Tom McDonald — attorneys from BakerHostetler, the firm representing the Coalition for Education Reform — in a statement. "The addition of new facts in the complaint and two new plaintiffs highlights the harsh conditions at the school and the severely negative impact of its operation on students that it is supposed to help.

"This long and disgraceful tradition of racially segregated education in the Indian River School District needs to be addressed and this lawsuit is intended to put an end to it."

Read the article.