Education

Parents reach settlement over protection of students

Thursday, June 23, 2011

A Bay Area school district is being forced to pay a price for not adequately protecting its students.

Union City schools are settling a case that was brought after a 14-year-old student was shot to death.

Alvett Fobbs son was a witness to the 2007 shooting death of 14-year-old Vernon Eddins. It happened at the Barnard White Campus of the New Haven Unified District in Union City. Fobbs says her son and other boys who were present are sharing the same symptoms.

"Emotionally and mentally, he's not (himself)," said Fobbs. "He didn't graduate from high school this year. He's been in four high schools in the last four years. It has drastically affected his education as well as his mental state."

At a press conference held Thursday at the NAACP offices in Hayward, attorneys announced that six families affected by that shooting death and the shooting of several other students at Southland Mall last year have settled a suit against the district.

"Oh behalf of African-American students attending schools in Union City who have been chased, assaulted, attacked and targeted by the Decoto Gang," Price, who filed the lawsuit, said to describe who the suit was for.

The suit charged that the school district did not adequately protect its African American students from the Decoto Gang.

In the $725,000 settlement is a list of 13 remedial policies and programs to be implemented by the school district in an effort to curb racial violence.

"The district is going to begin to look at the issue of gang violence in the schools, work affirmatively with the police department, (and) work affirmatively with the work justice programs that are available in Alameda County," Price said.

The school district representatives would not go on camera but issued a statement on Thursday. In the statement, the district said that "any settlement is contingent upon several events taking place that have not occurred. As yet, there is no final settlement and to say otherwise is premature."

The district says that the plaintiff's contentions are false.

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Tags:
union city, NAACP, school violence, shooting, education
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