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Posted under: Education News

Students in Detroit are suing the state for violating their constitutional right to literacy

Imagine being a high school student who is regularly sent to the gym to play basketball because there is no one available to teach class. Imagine trying to get an education in an environment where there aren't enough books to go around? According to a class action federal lawsuit filed by five students, this is exactly what is happening at the lowest performing public and charter schools within the Detroit Public School (DPS) system. “I feel like I am getting cheated,” says student Jamarria Hall, one of the plaintiffs in the lawsuit. "I just hope it leads to change."

The lawsuit, which names the state, education officials and Governor Rick Snyder as defendants, claims that inner city schools are suffering due to lack of funding, support and opportunities. The suit asserts that the opportunity to learn to read is guaranteed under the Fourteenth Amendment and the current conditions violate the constitutional right to literacy. In an interview with WXYZ Detroit, Detroit Federation of Teachers Interim President Ivy Bailey said, “For more than a decade, the educators of this city have been raising the red flag about Detroit Public Schools: Our schools are falling apart, our classrooms lack the basic resources needed to educate children, and we have been forced to do more with less to give our students a shot at the American dream.” Governor Snyder's office said that there would be no comment provided on pending litigation.

Watch the full report from 7 Action News below:

We'll be keeping an eye out to see how this unprecedented lawsuit plays out. 

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