A federal civil rights lawsuit was filed Thursday against the William S. Hart Union High School District and several of its employees and policymakers, claiming four students at Valencia High School were the victims of racism.
The suit, filed in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles by Gloria Allred and her associates, accuses the school district, as well as outgoing school Superintendent Bob Lee, Valencia High Principal Paul Priesz and four school board members of failing to curb racism on the campus.
The suit does not name the fifth school board member, Gloria Mercado-Fortine.
The lawsuit requests $75,000 in damages, $25,000 in penalties against each of the six defendants, and “vindication” for the alleged violations under the equal protection clause of the Constitution.
The lawsuit was filed on behalf of four black Valencia High students who claim they have been subjected to overt racist attitudes, speech and confrontations “from known white supremacists” at Valencia High.
They claim to have repeatedly brought the abuses to the attention of school administration, to no avail.
In a statement released Thursday, the Hart district expressed its commitment to promoting diversity.
“It is Hart district policy to fight discrimination and intimidation in any form,” read the statement. “We will continue to do so — because it is the right thing to do.”
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