ACLU-PA Statement on the Settlement of McKeesport Black Student Union Lawsuit

April 29, 2019
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PITTSBURGH - The American Civil Liberties Union of Pennsylvania announced a settlement this afternoon in its federal civil rights challenge against the McKeesport Area School District for the district’s refusal to approve a proposed Black Student Union club. Under the terms of the settlement, the 11 students represented by the ACLU of Pennsylvania will be able to form their club within ten days of submitting an application. The agreement also requires the district to extend the “same rights, privileges and benefits that they provide to any other non-curricular student activity.”

The students and their lawyers will host a press conference to discuss the resolution of the case this evening at 6:30 p.m., at Duquesne City Hall, 12 South 2nd Street, Duquesne, PA.

The following can be attributed to Reggie Shuford, executive director of the ACLU of Pennsylvania:

“We appreciate that the district recognized that the students have a right to form the McKeesport Black Student Union and moved to finalize a solution. School administrators may not stand in the way of proposed clubs simply because they may disagree with the club’s message.”

The following can be attributed to Witold Walczak, legal director of the ACLU of Pennsylvania:

“We could not be prouder of our clients. These brave students refused to accept no to their request for a Black Student Union club and took their battle to court.  Now, after months of stalling by the district, the students are excited to move forward with their club.”

More information about this case, including a copy of the settlement agreement, is available at aclupa.org/McKeesportBSU.

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