Dakota families accuse school district of discrimination

The American Civil Liberties Union has filed a lawsuit on behalf of 14 Native American families who say the Winner School District in South Dakota is sending their kids from the school house to the jail house.

The families say the district treats Native kids differently. Casey Chasing Hawk was suspended in 7th grade and spent 63 days in a juvenile detention facility before the state Supreme Court ruled that he hadn't committed any wrongdoing.

When Casey returned home, he lost interest in school and eventually dropped out. Now 19 years old, his family says the incident broke his spirit and led to alcohol abuse and trouble with the law.

The school district has been the subject of complaints in the past. But statistics show that Indian children are punished at disproportionate rates and are leaving the district for schools elsewhere.

Get the Story:
Dakota Indians say kids trapped in `school-to-prison pipeline' (The Chicago Tribune 12/5)

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