Public Justice’s SCRP legal team has fought, and won, some of the most impactful educational access cases in the country. Using the U.S. Constitution and federal civil rights laws like Title IX and Title VI, our team has served as a champion for students and families in the courts.
In South Carolina, we helped Claflin University student Kamaria Downs permanently change her school’s policies regarding housing for pregnant students. Thanks to Kamaria’s bravery, and the SCRP’s advocacy, Claflin implemented sweeping changes that ensured no other students would face the discrimination Kamaria encountered on campus.
In Larios v. Chadron State College, we represented the family of a young Latina student-athlete who died by suicide in her boyfriend’s dorm room after the college failed to respond appropriately to reports that she was a victim of dating violence. After winning a court opinion recognizing that non-sexual dating violence can constitute gender-based harassment underTitle IX and that schools may be responsible for the foreseeable results of dating violence, the case settled. Pursuant to the settlement, the college will provide annual suicide prevention training; consult with an outside Title IX expert; award a memorial scholarship in Ms. Larios’s name to a member of the college’s women’s softball team; and place a memorial on campus commemorating Ms. Larios. In addition, the college paid the family $900,000.
In T.E. v. Pine Bush Central School District, we represented five Jewish students who had been victims of pervasive anti-Semitism in the district’s schools. After three years of litigation, and winning a court opinion recognizing the anti-Semitic conduct as race-based harassment under Title VI, we obtained a groundbreaking settlement that not only paid $4.48 million, but required the district to enact broad reforms in curriculum, training, policies, procedures, tracking, and reporting.
The SCRP legal team is also co-counsel for over 90 former students and athletes of Ohio State University who were abused over the course of two decades by former OSU physician Richard Strauss. We continue to fight for fair and just compensation – and sweeping policy reforms – that give our clients closure and future students reassurance that they will be safe and protected on OSU’s campus.
Building Movements for Change
We don’t just litigate cases; we help young people build movements, help coalitions organize for change, and empower communities to demand better of their schools.
When an SCRP client in Gwinnett County, Georgia came forward to share her story about being sexually assaulted at school, former students, community members and families rallied for change, demanding that school board leaders take immediate steps to investigate, address, and prevent sexual assault in schools.
When Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos tried to roll back protections for transgender students, we led a coalition of groups, including the National Women’s Law Center and Lambda Legal, that reached out to every state department of education in the country, informing them of their legal obligations – and transgender students’ legal rights – under the law.
Join our movement! Take action to ensure equality for students, and join our email action alert network, by visiting Public Justice Action.
The Students’ Civil Rights Project increases access to education, holds institutions accountable and empowers young people, especially LGBTQ youth, students facing gender-based or sexual harassment and students of color who are harassed or disproportionately disciplined.