Plaintiffs in class action DPS suit speak out

Posted at 5:49 PM, Apr 07, 2016
and last updated 2016-04-07 17:49:11-04

He spoke out about his lawsuit first on 7 Action News. On Thursday, the attorney who filed a class action lawsuit on behalf of kids held a press conference to introduce some of his plaintiffs.

Detroit School board members and parents stood with the lawyer who filed a class action suit representing them and the children of Detroit Public Schools.

They say 97 percent of DPS grads aren’t college ready. They point to a lack of teachers in classrooms and deplorable school building conditions. They say kids aren’t getting the quote adequate education called for under the state constitution.

The lawsuit claims the way Gov. Rick Snyder, emergency managers and others ran DPS destroyed life long opportunities for kids like Kathy Carthron’s son Joseph Johnson. He is autistic and can’t speak. She says she is part of the suit because she wants to give him a voice. She says he should get speech and occupational therapy sessions, but does not. The district refuses to provide services, violating his rights.

“All I want is my son to have justice,” said Kathy. “They don’t have to give me a dollar.”

The suit does ask for compensation for kids impacted.

School board members say they would be able to address such issues, but for the fact they have absolutely no power because the governor forced emergency management.

They say families deserve representation in their school district, and the fact they don’t have that is a violation of their rights. 

“This should never happen in America,” said Herman Davis, School Board President.

“This would never happen in a white district,” said Elena Herrada, School Board Member. 

7 Action News reached out to the governor’s office and the school district for comment. Both released statements saying they don’t comment on pending litigation.