The lawsuit asks the court to issue an emergency injunction to stop any takeover by MDE and for additional relief under Section 1983 of the U.S. Code (Title 42). The plaintiffs argue their rights were violated because they were not allowed to present their arguments to MDE. MDE allegedly ignored their due process rights and harmed their children’s education when it “defamed” JPS. The complaint also states that MDE has a poor record of rehabilitating school districts when it has taken them over and has never assumed control of a district as large as JPS. Some excerpts from the complaint:
56. Yet, to the extent such discussions of the best interests of JPS schoolchildren occurred at all regarding the JPS District, there was minimal evidence, discussion or consideration in these MDE hearings affecting these Plaintiffs’ significant property and liberty rights.
57. To the contrary, rather than having any MDE accreditation and takeover hearings focused on the best interests of JPS schoolchildren and JPS parents, including student academic performance and/or curricular and extracurricular accomplishments, these MDE accreditation and conservatorship hearings on the JPS District have been more akin to a criminal prosecution….
59. The MDE accreditation and conservatorship hearings were unnecessarily defamatory and adversarial in nature against Plaintiffs’ public school district, and its students, parents, teachers, principals, and administrators.