Thursday, June 20, 2013

On gunfights in Old Sacramento, school-board lawsuits and Kevin Johnson as Kings salesman - Bites - Opinions - June 20, 2013

Sacramento News & Review - On gunfights in Old Sacramento, school-board lawsuits and Kevin Johnson as Kings salesman - Bites - Opinions - June 20, 2013:

On gunfights in Old Sacramento, school-board lawsuits and Kevin Johnson as Kings salesman

On shoot-outs in Old Sacramento, school-board legal woes and Kevin Johnson as the Kings' No. 1 salesman


 The Sacramento City Unified School District Board intentionally sacrificed poor neighborhoods and protected affluent ones with its school-closure plan earlier this year. That’s the gist of a lawsuit filed by several Sacramento students and their families last week, aimed at overturning the decision to close seven schools in some of Sacramento’s most disadvantaged communities.
The attorney working on their behalf is civil-rights lawyer Mark Merin. Bites was skeptical when Merin first described what he was trying to do with the case: prove that the school board and the district intentionally discriminated against low-income and minority communities.
There’s plenty to suggest its policy amounts to discrimination—98 percent of the displaced students are low income, 93.4 percent are students of color—but that’s not good enough for the court. Merin has to prove the discrimination was deliberate. As opposed to just dumb and negligent, which is what Bites had assumed.
“I think we can show it was intentional,” said Merin, explaining that the discrimination is in protecting more affluent neighborhoods while gutting low-income communities. “They, in fact, intended to discriminate against those who were powerless and those who were poor and those who would just take it.”
There could be a hearing within a month or so. Bites doesn’t know if the judge will buy Merin’s argument. But a temporary injunction would at least give the board one more opportunity to reboot the process it bungled so badly.
Or maybe not. In reaction to the lawsuit, Superintendent Jonathan Raymond and school board president Jeff Cuneo took the classic “blame the victim” approach last week, criticizing the 

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