Refugee Students Sue Pennsylvania District for Unequal School Placement
Of the many refugees finding sanctuary in countries around the world, 85,000 come to the U.S. each year. In the past few years, over 40 percent of these refugees have been minors.
In a world where everything from school lunches to holiday decorations causes an uproar, it’s only natural that schooling for refugee children has been an ongoing topic of debate. Now, some refugee students are suing for their right to an education.
In particular, six refugee students are suing the School District of Lancaster, in Pennsylvania.
Although not entirely excluded from the district, the students in question were sent to “alternative programs,” a phrase commonly used to refer to the kind of place students on the cusp of expulsion are forced to attend in lieu of their regular high school.
One of the students, 17-year-old Khadidja Issa, described the alternative programs as a “disciplinary” environment. Because assimilating to a new country, language, and school isn’t hard enough without feeling like you’ve already committed a crime the first day of high school.
According to the suits, the placement of these students is in violation of the Equal Education Opportunities Act.
A Texan by birth but a Bostonian at heart, Hannah is an educational writer, AmeriCorps alum, and one-time StartupWeekend EDU (SWEDU) winning team member. She started her career at a Pearson-incubated edtech startup, but has since covered travel, food & culture, and even stonemasonry in addition to education.