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Law Ofiice of Peter D. Hoffman, P.C. Peter D. Hoffman, Esq. (PH-8306) Giulia Frasca, Esq. (GF-2545) Jamie Mattice, Esq. (IM-0307) 200 Katonah Avenue Village Commons East, 2" Floor Katonah, NY 10536 Phone: (914) 232-2242 ‘10 cy Og j 8 6 Faesitnile: (914) 232-2245 Fit ~ED | DEC = 8 2010 | i USDC WP SDNY UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT Ge SEIBEY SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF NEW YORK N.B. and S.B., Individually and as Parents and Legal Guardians of H.B., a minor, and al other similarly situated students of Jewish heritage LASS ACTION COMPLAINT who attend Mahopac Central School Distriet FOR DAMAGES AND schools’; iCTIVE RELI Plaintiffs, = against - Jury Trial Demanded MAHOPAC CENTRAL SCHOOL DISTRICT; MAHOPAC CENTRAL SCHOOL DISTRICT. BOARD OF EDUCATION; THOMAS J. MANKO, Individually and in his Capacity as Docket No. Superintendent; IRA GURKIN, Individually and | The Hon. usDI in his capacity as Principal of the Mahopac Middle School; unknown agents and assigns of MAHOPAC CENTRAL SCHOOL DISTRICT, [Proposed] Defendants. COMPLAINT * “H.B.” and other students are net expressly ntincd herein by their given names because of the privacy {uarantees provided inthe IDEA statute, 2s welt asin the Family Eucational Rights Privacy Act, 20 US.C. 1232(¢) and 34 C-F.R. 99 (hereinafier “FERPA”). Instead students are identified by initials. “N.B.” is HLB.’s fer, “$,3.” is H.B/'s mother. H.B.'s parents are identified by thei inital to protoct her privacy. * ___Allstudent parties and actors herein are listed by pseudonym. ‘This is done to protect their privacy ‘Pursuant to and in the spirit of FERPA, which provides forthe protection of the privacy of students’ educational sevords. Whereas this setion will require the inspection of student records ofall stdent parties herein Plaitifls herein sock to protect the identity of al listed student parties by using pseudonyms. INTRODUCTION Plaintiffs’ claims arise out of a most egregious form of discriminatory misconduct perpetrated on Plaintiff, and others similarly situated, by non-Plaintiff Student Actors enrolled in the Mahopac Central School District, with the knowledge and tacit approval ‘of Defendant Mahopac Central School District and its Board of Education (BOE), administrators, employees, agents and assigns, and Defendants Manko and Gurkin. The form of this misconduct was anti-Semitism and racial, religious and gender discrimination, by both verbal and physical threats and abuse. The Mahopac Central ‘School District, its BOF, Superintendent, administrative employees and its teachers were aware of this behaviar and did nothing to prevent it or deter it, to the detriment of H.B. and other Jewish students within the District. This is a civil rights action in which Plaintiff H.B. and other similarly situated Jewish students in the Mahopac Central School District seck to redress deprivation of their rights to be free of discrimination under color of state law as secured to them by the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, 42 USC § 20004, and both Title VI and Title IX of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as enforced by 42 USC §1983. This lawsuit challenges policies and practices in Mahopac Central School District that systemically deny Jewish students in Mahopac Central School District schools the right to equal educational opportunity. ‘The Jewish children in the Mahopac Central School District are subjected to a hostite educational environment based on their racial and religious orientation. They are subjected to the widespread use of racial and religious epithets and slurs, including being subjected to depictions of swastikas and other symbols and references to Nazism and the Holocaust that occurred against the Jewish people in World War IL, not only by students, but also by school officials themselves. They are excluded from educational and other opportunities on the basis of race and religious orientation, ‘The Jewish children in Mahopac Central School District schools are subjected to racially discriminatory discipline. Defendants impose punishment, suspensions, and unequal treatment on Jewish students, and have failed to punish, in any ‘meaningful way, those students that have brandished swastikas and other symbols of Nazism and who have otherwise tortured and threatened Jewish students, ‘As a result of Defendants’ discriminatory policies and practices, Jewish students have been denied avcess to equal educational opportunity. Several Jewish families have, as a result of the widespread and administratively sanctioned discriminatory practices of the ‘Defendants and others, transferred to other schools often at significant cost and expense. Plaintiffs represent a class of students consisting of all Jewish students who are currently or in the futuce will be enrolled in the Mahopac Central School District schools, and their porents or guardians. This class seeks a declaration thet the Defendants’ polices and practices violate Title VI of the Civil Rights Act, and the Fourteenth Amendment to the ‘United States Constitution, and further secks prospective injunctive relief, including ordering Defendants to investigate and address all acts of racial and religious harassment and bullying; implement transparent and objective policies to ensure equal access to education and extracurricular activities, eliminate religious and racially

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