Latino Parents Suing for Equity in Education in Massachusetts


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Latino parents in Holyoke, MA (49.49% Latino population) have taken drastic measures in an effort to achieve a better standard of education equity for their children, according to The Boston Globe.

In August 2017, the group Padres de Latinos de las Escuelas de Springfield y Holyoke (PLESH) filed a lawsuit against the Holyoke Public School District claiming that there was a failing to “provide adequate translation of educational documents” for parents with limited English proficiency.

Nearly half of the 5,300 students in Holyoke live in homes where English isn’t the primary language.

Per The Boston Globe report, 80% of all students in the district are Latino and the lawsuit focuses heavily on minority children in special education.

“Nothing has changed,” said Glorimar Corsino, chairwoman of PLESH, in an interview. “We still have plenty of families suffering.”

The crux of the lawsuit alleges that the district has failed to translate all documents in a “timely fashion” and not provide interpreters in meetings with parents that do not speak English.

“Every year children are losing ground,” said the group’s attorney, Robert LeRoux Hernandez. “We don’t want to wait anymore. We want to make sure the proper steps are taken to address this problem.”

Examples of the documents that have not been consistently translated include notices of meetings, evaluations for special education services, proposed individual education plans for students, disciplinary notices, student and parent handbooks, anti-bullying information, notices of events, and documents related to extracurricular activities, progress reports, and special education documents.

“I don’t understand why the district is not providing these services,” Corsino said.

The goal of the lawsuit is the resolution of the translation problems.

Read more about Latinos & Education here:

  • A study from @ChildTrends says #Latino kids start school 3 mos. behind in math! #SaludSupport
  • A Latino parents group offers support on the ever-changing world of education. #SaludSupport

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