NEW ORLEANS (AP) — The Jefferson Parish Public School System says officials are disappointed that the Southern Poverty Law Center has filed a federal complaint alleging discrimination against Latino students and parents who speak little English.

A three-paragraph statement in English and Spanish says the schools have children from 50 countries speaking 34 languages, and the system is committed to helping all parents who speak little English, whatever language they speak.

Wednesday's statement also says data show schoolwork has improved over the past four years among third- through eighth-grade students who speak little English.

The law center alleges that Jefferson Parish public schools discriminate against Latino students by letting employees harass students about their citizenship and by failing to provide translators for parents who speak little English.



Southern Poverty Law Center