Original URL: http://www.azcentral.com/community/scottsdale/articles/0313sr-lulac13Z8.html

2nd bias complaint filed against Scottsdale district
The Arizona Republic
Mar. 13, 2004 12:00 AM
Anne Ryman

SCOTTSDALE - A civil rights organization has filed a second complaint with the federal government against the Scottsdale Unified School District, alleging discrimination against Hispanic parents and students.

The Arizona chapter of the League of United Latin American Citizens, or LULAC, is asking the U.S. Office of Civil Rights in Denver to investigate the state's eighth-largest school district.

Silverio Garcia Jr., LULAC's education chairman, said the second complaint is based on concerns at Ingleside Middle School and possibly other Scottsdale schools.

"It all gets back to one of the big basic problems: They are not in touch with the Hispanic community," he said. "That needs to be fixed."

The Scottsdale district office was closed Friday for spring break, and district spokesman Tom Herrmann could not be reached for comment.

In January, LULAC filed its first complaint after a teacher at Ingleside was alleged to have hit students for speaking Spanish. The Office of Civil Rights is reviewing that complaint but has not decided whether to open an investigation. The district, meanwhile, is taking steps to fire teacher Kim Youngblood, and she has requested an employment hearing to tell her story Monday.

Garcia said LULAC decided to file a second complaint after getting a copy of a five-page list of concerns complied by Ingleside staff last fall. Among the allegations were statements that Spanish-speaking students who were learning English sometimes waited weeks to get scheduled into certain classes and that their parents weren't always contacted when students were absent.

Ingleside is at 54th Street and Osborn Road in the Arcadia area of east Phoenix. Hispanic students made up 16 percent of the school's 838-student population last year.

Reach the reporter at anne.ryman@scottsdalerepublic.com (602) 444-6881

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