P. 1
Lawsuit to Prevent Closure of Santa Fe Elementary

Lawsuit to Prevent Closure of Santa Fe Elementary

|Views: 145|Likes:
Published by Michael Siegel
Verified complaint filed March 29, 2012, alleging that the Oakland School Board's decision to close Santa Fe elementary school violates the rights of parents and students under the California Constitution, Education Code, California Environmental Quality Act, and the common law.
Verified complaint filed March 29, 2012, alleging that the Oakland School Board's decision to close Santa Fe elementary school violates the rights of parents and students under the California Constitution, Education Code, California Environmental Quality Act, and the common law.

More info:

Categories:Types, Business/Law
Published by: Michael Siegel on Apr 04, 2012
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

Availability:

Read on Scribd mobile: iPhone, iPad and Android.
download as PDF, TXT or read online from Scribd
See more
See less

07/28/2013

pdf

text

original

1

2
3

4 5

DANSIEGEL, SEN 56400 ANNE WEILLS, SEN 139845 MICHAEL SIEGEL, SBN 269439 SIEGEL&YEE 49914th Street, Suite 300 Oakland, California 94612 Telephone: (510) 839-1200 Telefax: (510) 444-6698 Attorneys for Plaintiffs THEARSE PECOT, et al.

F1U3.D J.\L/"I'JiED/.\ COUNTY

ENDORSED

MAr< :2

\:J

2012

6
7 8

;U:::PK OF THE SUPERIOR URT By Caroiyn Lemos, Oepu

9

SUPERIOR COURT FOR TH~ STATE OF CALIFORNIA COUNTY OF ALAMEDA THEARSE PECOT; SOPHIA HOWZE; MADELINE JACKSON; URAL C. DIXON; 8.J., a minor by and through her guardian ad litem, Madeline Jackson; S.P., a minor by and through his guardian, Sophia Howze; U.D., a minor by and through his guardian, Ural C. Dixon; K.W., a minor by and through his guardian, Thearse Pecot; K.W., a minor by and through her guardian, Tbearse Pecot; and K.W., a minor by and through her guardian, Thearse Pecot, Plaintiffs, Case No. ~

10
11 12
13

1262 2~65

14 15

VERIFIED COMPLAltIT FOR DECLARATORY, INJUNCTIVE, AND OTHER RELIEF

16
17 18 19

20
21

v.
ANTHONY SMITH, in his official capacity as Superintendent of the Oakland Unified School District; and BOARD OF EDUCATION of the Oakland Unified School District, Defendants.

22
23 24 25

26
27
28

'T OT'ifi",rt

Pecotv. Smith, No.
f'r\TY'In.1,,;nr f,.... ... 1\",,1 " ...,+,....,...., Tn;, ,,...,.,+;,,,, ,

.......... nt-h" .. D .... .... rl 1; +

1

Plaintiffs THEARSE PECOT, SOPHIA HOWZE, MADELINE JACKSON, URAL C. DIXON, S.J., S.P., U.D., K.W., K.W., and K.W. (collectively, "Pecot") complain of defendants ANTHONY SMITH, Superintendent of the Oakland Unified School District,

2
3 4

5 6 7 8

and BOARD OF EDUCATION of the Oakland Unified School District (collectively, "the District"), and allege: PRELIMINARY
1.

STATEMENT

As the California Supreme Court has declared, this State "has broad

9
10

responsibility to ensure basic educational equity under the California Constitution." Butt v. State of California (1992) 4 Cal.ath 668, 681. "[T]he equal protection clause precludes the State from maintaining its common school system in a manner that denies the students of one district an education basically equivalent to that provided elsewhere." Id. In Oakland, unfortunately, the District has perpetrated a policy of impacted low

11
12

13

14
15 16 17 18 19 20
21

school closures over the last eight years that has disproportionately income and African-American

communities in North Oakland. At the present moment,

the District is seeking to close Santa Fe Elementary School ("Santa Fe"), potentially the fifth North Oakland elementary school serving predominantly African-American

students to be closed since June 2004. By ordering the closures of Washington Elementary, Golden Gate Elementary, Foster Elementary, Longfellow Elementary, and

22
23 24

now, potential1y, Santa Fe, the District has denied basic educational equity to North Oakland- students and families.

25

26 27
28

The five targeted schools-four closed, one fighting for survival-have all been located west of Telegraph Avenue. Four were in the 94608 zip code; the fifth, Washington Elementary, was in the adjacent 94609 zip code. The area might best be described as "North-West Oakland"; however, such a term has no purchase in Oakland, and the colloquial "North Oakland" is used.
1

Pecot v. Smith, No.
"\,prifif'n
rOlTlnh-ilnt fOl' f)p,.bT'~tnr"

T n;l1nf'tiup

!lnrl t1th"r P "li,,{

1
2

2.

Specifically, the District's decision-to close Santa Fe has denied basic educational

equity to students who take advantage of full-day special education services. The District has told full-day special education students that because of the proposed school closure, beginning next school year they will be forced to travel from North Oakland to a campus on Sist Avenue in East Oakland, at a travel time of up to 90 minutes in each direction. By imposing this extreme burden on young, North Oakland-based special

3 4

5
6

7
8

needs students, the District has violated the students' Equal Protection rights under the California Constitution. . 3. In addition, the closing of Santa Fe win also disproportionately impact low

9
10 11

12
13 14

income North Oakland families who walk between home and school. Because the District bas closed all of the public schools in the affected area of North Oakland, students and their families will be forced to walk 40 minutes and more to arrive at their next scboollocation. Although the District has offered to hold a "lottery" to award bus

15
16 17

passes to some students, it bas failed to account for the safety implications of elementary school students taking public buses. Furthermore,the District has not

18
19

offered to provide bus passes to parents and guardians. In this way, the District has imposed extreme burdens on the ability of low income and African-American North

20
21

Oakland students to access an equitable education, in violation of Equal Protection rights. Furthermore, the District has violated the rights of parents and guardians to

22
23

24
25

control their children's education, as guaranteed by the Supreme Court of the United States. Meyers v. Nebraska (1923) 262 U.S. 390. 4. The District's decision to close Santa Fe also violates the rights of Oakland taxpayers, who recently saw the District spend over $700,000 in public funds during the summer of 2011 to provide for a new playground on the Santa Fe campus. The .

26
27

28

Pecot v. Smith, No.
Vprlfip.n Cornnlain+ for npf'hr::ltor"IT Tn;llnf't;vP ::mn ()thpr Rpl;pf
<)

1

District also recently invested thousands of dollars in a new computer lab at the school. "[T]he essence of a taxpayer action remains an illegal or wasteful expenditure of public funds or damage to public property." Humane Society of Equalization

-

.

-

2
3

u.s. v. State

Ed. of

4

5
6 7

CAppo1Dist. 2007) 152 Cal.APP-4th 349, 3S5.Here,

because the District's

decision to expend hundreds of thousands of dollars to improve the Santa Fe campus was immediately followed by the decision to order the closure of Santa Fe, the District has committed an actionable waste of funds under Code of Civil Procedure Section 526Ca), and the school closure decision should be enjoined. 5. Finally, under the California Environmental Quality Act CCEQA),when a school

8 9
10
11 12 13 14

district decides to close a school, it must consider the cumulative environmental impacts of its decision. East Peninsula Educational Council, Inc.
V. Palos

Verdes

15

Peninsula Unified School District CAppo2 Dist, 1989) 210 CaJ.ApP.3d 155, 174. Here, on information and belief, the District has failed to comply with any CEQA requirements prior to ordering the closure of Santa Fe. The District has closed five schools over eight years in a small geographic area, action that has likely caused cumulative negative environmental impacts including (a) a negative impact caused by increased travel by

16
17

18
19
20

21

students and families, leading to increased carbon dioxide production and exposure; and (b) a negative impact due to the abandonment of public land, leading to increased

22
23 24

public health and safety risks and decreased property values. Because the District was obligated to comply with CEQA before it decided to close Santa Fe, and because the District failed to comply with CEQA, the school closure should be enjoined.

25

26
27

28

Pecotv. Smith, No.
"\T

Dr;fiA~

f"n.rnT\ 1 r:li;n+

+r...'r

"l\n,....1

rt~o""J+r'\.-T"'

... (1

..

T 'r"'t~1o'i~r.a-f-~TT..-.

rr.,.,.-.;1

{\+h..-.~

n ..... 1.:,.....t:

1

JURISDICTION

AND VENUE

-

2
3
4

6. Plaintiffs' claims for injunctive and declaratory relief arise under the Equal Protection provisions of the California Constitution, Art. I, §§ 3(b)(4), 7(a) and (b), and Art. N, §16(a); the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments of the United States Constitution; the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), Pub. Resources Code,

5 6
7

§§ 21000, et seq.; the Education Code, §§ 200, 201, and 220; and the Code of Civil Procedure, §S26(a). The Court's jurisdiction is invoked under Code of Civil Procedure §§ 410.10, 526, and 1060. 7. Venue is proper in Alameda County. The transactions and occurrences

8 9
10 11

12 13 14 15 16
17

underlying the present action occurred in Oakland, California, within Alameda County. The plaintiffs include Oakland students, residents, and taxpayers. headquarters The business

of defendants Anthony Smith and Board of Education is in Oakland. PARTIES

8. Plaintiff THEARSE PECOT is an Oakland resident, taxpayer, and grandmother and guardian of three students at Santa Fe Elementary School. Ms. Pecot identifies as African-American, Native American, and French; in short, she is Creole. Ms. Pecot lives

18 19 20 21

approximately five blocks from Santa Fe. She has lived in Oakland for her entire life. 9. Plaintiff SOPHIA HOWZE is an Oakland resident, taxpayer, and mother of a Santa Fe student. She identifies as African-American and Native American. Ms. Howze

22
23

24

does not own a car. Her six-year-old son attends Santa Fe; she walks with him and her three-year-old entire life. 10. Plaintiff MADELINE JACKSON is an Oakland resident, taxpayer, property owner, and mother of a Santa Fe student. Ms. Jackson identifies as African-American. daughter to and from the school. Ms. Howze has lived in Oakland for her

25 26
27 28

Pecot v. Smith, No.
\T .... _~-h;.n.rl

r"t __

--..1.,,~"1'"'11+ +..-._ T\,.,,,.,,l ...... T'>rt.+.r-..T

.... T

TT'\~.,-.'Y'L,...t--~"t'r1'l.

o""l'Y'lrl

Ai-heu"

Dal~n·f

1

She owns a home that is located within two blocks of Santa Fe. Her son attends Santa Fe, and she walks with him to and from school at least two days each week. Ms. J ackso has lived in Oakland for her entire life.
11.

.

.

2
3 4

5 6
7 8 9 10
11

Plaintiff URAL C. DIXON is an Oakland resident, taxpayer, arid father of a Santa Mr. Dixon identifies as African-American. His son attends Santa Fe, and

Fe student.

takes advantage of full-day special education services on the Santa Fe campus. Mr. Dixon has lived in Oakland since 1968.
12. Plaintiff

S.J. is a minor, represented by and through her guardian ad litem, S.J. is a student at Santa Fe. She identifies as African-American.

Madeline Jackson.

12
13 14 15 16 17 18

She lives with her mother, Madeline Jackson, in a home two blocks from Santa Fe. S.J. walks to school every day. Two days a week, she walks to school with her mother. Three days a week, her mother leaves for work at a very early hour, and S.J. walks to school with her grandmother. 13. Plaintiff S.P. is a minor, represented by and through his guardian ad litem, and

Sophia Howze. S.P. is a student at Santa Fe. He identifies as African-American Filipino-American.

19
20
21

He lives with his mother, Sophia Howze, in North Oakland. Each

day S.P. and his mother walk to school, taking approximately twenty-five minutes each way.
14. Plaintiff D.D. is a minor, represented

22
23 24 25

by and through his guardian ad litem, Ural

C. Dixon. D.D. is a student at Santa Fe, and accesses full-day special education classes at Santa Fe. He identifies as African-American. He lives in North Oakland. Each day,

26
27
28

the District provides for a bus that picks D.D. up at his North Oakland home and takes him to Santa Fe. U.D.'s bus trip from home to Santa Fe currently takes approximately ten minutes.

Pecot v. Smith, No.
"l.T"ot·lfiprl I'Arnn.l",intfA,.. 1\",,,1 'l"'<lt-{""n""\, n;nnf't-,uo T ':Inri nt-h"",.. P ",liof

1..
2
3

15. PlaintiffK.W. is a minor, represented

by and through his guardian ad litem, K.W.

Thearse Pecot. K.W. is a student at Santa Fe. He identifies as African-American.

lives with his grandmother, Thearse Pecot, approximately five blocks from Santa Fe. 16. PlaintiffK.W. is a minor, represented by and through her guardian ad litem, Tbearse Pecot. K.W. is astudent at Santa Fe, and access special education resources for K.W. lives

4 5 6 7

one hour per day, five days per week. She identifies as African-American. with his grandmother,
17. PlaintiffK.W.

8
9

Thearse Pecot, approximately five blocks from Santa Fe. is a minor, represented by and through her guardian ad litem,

.10
11

Thearse Pecot. K.W. is a student at Santa Fe. She identifies

as African-American.
of the Oakland Unified

K.W.

12 13 14

lives with his grandmother, Thearse Pecot, approximately five blocks from Santa Fe. 18. Defendant ANTHONY SMITH is the Superintendent

School District. At all times relevant to this controversy, he acted as the chief executive officer of the District, and was responsible for executing the school closure policy approved by the Oakland School Board. . 19. Defendant BOARD OF EDUCATION is the governing board of the Oakland Unified School District. The Board of Education is responsible for establishing District policy and supervising the performance of the Superintendent.

15
16 17
18

19 20
21

STATEMENT OF FACTS 20.Since June 2004, the District has adopted a school closures policy in response to fiscal exigencies and declining student enrollment. During this period, the District has

22
23
24

25

closed a dozen or more historic public schools, including the North and West Oakland elementary schools Foster, Longfellow, Golden Gate, and Washington.
21.

26
27
28

In the spring of 2011, School Board Director Judy London revealed that the

District was considering the closure of Santa Fe Elementary School.

Pecot v. Smith, No.
"arifi

PH ~rvn·" ..l ",';n+ f" ... anl \ n

""·"'i-n. ...... r

T..,~.,,, n+~ua ",,,;1 (\+1,,,,-t- D ",l~"f

1

22. Santa Fe is lo~ated at 915 54th Street in Oakland, It is located within zip code 94608. On information and belief, over 80% of Santa Fe students are AfricanAmerican. On information and belief} over 70% of Santa Fe students qualify for government assistance, including free or reduced-price breakfast and lunch. 23. On information and belief, when the District is examined as a whole, approximately 31% of the students are African-American. 24. Prior to the threatened closure of Santa Fe, the District had already closed four schools in the same North Oakland neighborhood. Within the 94608 zip code, the

2
3

4 5 6
7

8 9
10 11 12

District closed Golden Gate Elementary} Foster Elementary, and Longfellow Elementary. Elementary. predominantly In the adjacent 94609 zip code, the District had closed Washington On information and belief, all four of these closed schools served African-American students and families. On information and belief, the

13 14 15 16 17
18

vast majority of the students who attended these closed schools qualified for free and reduced-price breakfast and lunch. 25. Plaintiffs Thearse Pecot and Sophia Howze both have children who were subjected to school closure while attending Longfellow Elementary. 26. In the Fall of 2011, the District officially announced that it would close five additional schools, including Santa Fe. 27. After learning that Santa Fe was slated for closure, plaintiff Ural Dixon asked District officials what school his son would attend, given his son's need for full-day special education services, The District told Mr. Dixon that his son, U.D., would have to attend school at the Acorn-Woodland campus, located at 1025 Bist Avenue.

19
20
21

22
23

24
25

26
27
28

28. On information and belief, D.D. would have to travel approximately 90 minutes to school, and 90 minutes to home, if he is forced to attend school at 1025 Srst Avenue.

Pecot v. Smith, No.
\T ..,rifip,-"!

f'rolYlT\l ~'nt

fror nCOf'l"''''<Itnru

T"lllnf'tluco

~",-"! 1)+1,0,. D ",1 i""[

Q

1 2 3 4 5 6 7
8

This estimate is based on the assumption that the bus will have to make multiple stops, retrieving students from multiple locations across the City, and on the fact that U.D. currently lives
10

miles from

1025

Bist Avenue.

29. On information and belief, the Acorn-Woodland campus does not have a classroom available for a full-day special education program. 30. After learning that Santa Fe was slated for closure, plaintiff Thearse Pecot asked District officials about the availability of special education services at a newly-assigned school for her daughter, KW. KW. currently receives one hour per day of special education support services, five days per week District officials told Ms. Pecot that her daughter would be able to access only two or three days of support services at a new school.
31. After learning that Santa Fe was slated for closure, many Santa Fe parents,

9 10
11 12 13

14

15
16

including plaintiffs Thearse Pecot, Sophia Howze, and Madeline Jackson, asked District officials how students who walk to school would be transported campuses.
32.

17
18 19

to their newly-assigned

On October 26, 2011, at a meeting of the Board of Directors, District official

20
21 22

Denise Sadler stated that the District would be "working with AC Transit," the Alameda County public bus agency, to deliver Santa Fe students to their newly-assigned schools. 33. On information and belief, Santa Fe parents were told by District officials that a

23

24
25 26 27
28

"lottery" would be held to determine which students would receive AC Transit bus passes to get to their new schools. To date, the lottery has not been announced. To

date, no parents or guardians have been offered bus passes to facilitate their travel to newly-assigned schools.

Pecot v. Smith, No.
"7 ..n,,..;.f;

o.rl r'r\~1\

1~~'n.i-

.fA""'-

rv-,..... +rr."'r't"1;.,l...,,'V...

T "r'\";' 'l"""'-"+-~-';

rA

r"\T""\~

A+h

CI.'r

D 1"'1.1~n.+

1
2
3

34. Approximately one year prior to the announced closure of Santa Fe, the District closed an early-childhood development center (CDC) located adjacent to Santa Fe elementary. . 35. The Santa Fe CDC had previously provided pre-kindergarten classes for students

4
5

6 7
8

expecting to attend kindergarten the following year. The CDC also offered after-school programs. On information and belief, as a result of the CDC closure, and the corresponding unavailability ofpre-ldndergarten services and certain after-scbool

9
10
11

programs, fewer families have enrolled at Santa Fe. 36. As a result of the District's closure of the Santa Fe CDC, the neighborhood surrounding Santa Fe has been subjected to a vacant and abandoned District building.

12
13

The neighborhood has suffered from increased litter, vandalism, and loitering, on or about the closed CDC building .. 37. Prior to the announced closure of Santa Fe, on or about the summer of District reassigned the longtime Santa Fe principal. a new principal.
2011,

14 15 16
17

the

In her place, the District appointed

18
19 20

On information and belief, the new principal was expressly hired to

facilitate the closure of Santa Fe. 38. Subsequent to the announced closure, the District has reduced the availability after-school reading services at Santa Fe. 39. Subsequent to the announced school closure, the District terminated employee who worked in the Santa Fe after-school program. On information a popular and belief,
0

21

22
23

24
25

the employee was terminated because he attended School Board meetings and advocated against the school closure.

26
27
28

Pecot v. Smith, No.

1
2

·40. Subsequent

to the announced school closure, fewer students participate in the

special education program at Santa Fe, and the District has reduced the availability of a hearing specialist for special education students. 41. As a result of numerous decisions made before and after the announcement of

3 4 5 6 7
8

Santa Fe's impending closure, the District has discouraged families from enrolling in Santa Fe. 42. Although the District has closed numerous public schools in the North Oakland area, several charter schools operate in the same region. Unfortunately parents, however, these schools are not required to accept neighborhood multiple occasions, Santa Fe parents-including for Santa Fe students. On

9

10
11 12 13

plaintiff Sophia Howze-have

unsuccessfully attempted to enroll their students at area charter schools. 43. In the summer of 2011, Ms. Howze attempted to enroll S.P. in the Berkeley Maynard Academy, a charter school operated by the Aspire corporation. Berkeley

14

15
16 17

Maynard Academy operates on the District campus at 6200 San Pablo Avenue - the site of the now-closed Golden Gate Elementary School. Despite Ms. Howze's attempts, Berkeley Maynard denied enrollment to S.P. 44. On information and belief, since the District initiated its school closure policy in June
2004,

18
19

20
21

the North Oakland area has suffered from multiple negative and cumulative impacts, including (a) a negative impact caused by increased travel by

22
23

environmental

24
25

students and families, leading to increased carbon dioxide production and exposure; and (b) a negative impact due to the abandonment of public land, leading to increased

26
27

public health and safety risks and decreased property values. 45. On information and belief, the District did not file an environmental report regarding the proposed closure of Santa Fe elementary. impact

28

On information and

Pecot v. Smith, No.
"\T "'Y'l-h"'rl

I'nlV1-nl "',,-,.+ +n,.. T'\"""l'-'l'",+nT-'T

T..... ;"...,,,t-1uo

Clnrl nt-haT"

Pol;

0.+

belief, the District did not comply with any C-EQArequirements
2

prior to announcing the

closure. 46. While the District ultimately selected five schools for closure at the end of the
2011-2012

3 4
5 6 7 8

school year, it also considered additional schools for closure, including

Kaiser Elementary School. .47. On information and belief, Kaiser Elementary has a student population that is Less than
20%

less than 40% African-American.

of the students qualify for free or

9
10

reduced-price breakfast and lunch. 48. On information and belief, based upon the District's announced criteria for selecting schools for closure, Kaiser Elementary is an equal or better candidate for closure, as compared to Santa Fe. 49. On information and belief, defendants Board of Education and Anthony Smith

11 12
13 14

i5
16
17

helped Kaiser Elementary escape school closure, at the expense of Santa Fe. FIRST CLAIM FOR RELIEF (Plaintiffs 8.J., S.P., D.D., K.W., K.W., and K.W.) (California Constitution: Equal Protection)
50. Plaintiffs reallege and fully incorporate herein paragraphs
1through

18
19

49, above.

20
21 22 23

51. By virtue of the foregoing, the District has violated the rights of minor plaintiffs 8.J., S.P., D.D., KW., K.W., and K.W. (collectively, "minor plaintiffs") to basic educational equity as guaranteed by the Equal Protection rights of the California Constitution. Cal. Const., Art. I, §§ 3(b)(4), 7(a) and (b), and Art. N, §16(a). The
2004,

24 25

District's school closure policy has, since

disproportionately

affected African-

26
27

American and low-income North Oakland students and families. By scheduling Santa Fe for closure, the District threatens to deny plaintiffs D.D. and KW. access to equitable special education services, in violation of their fundamental right to education. By

28

Pecot v. Smith, No.
\T £>l'i-hpri

r......... ,-n l<lln+

~r.....

1\",,,1 ""·"'t-r" .... T.....;n .
T

-r-i

"t-;"Q

" ... ..:l nt-hen' D "l~~+

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8

pursuing

a school

closure policy that has shuttered several schools in the same

geographic region, the District threatens all of the minor plaintiffs with burdensome travel requirements leading to a denial of access to education. Because the District's

closure of Santa Fe threatens the fundamental should issue injunctive relief.

rights of minor plaintiffs, this Court

9
10 11 12 13

SECOND CLAIM FOR RELIEF (Plaintiffs Pecot, Howze, Jackson, and Dixon) (United States Constitution, Amendments 5 and 14; California Constitution: Equal Protection) 52. Plaintiffs reallege and fully incorporate herein paragraphs 1 through 51, above. 53. By virtue of the foregoing, the District threatens to deprive plaintiffs Pecot, Howze, Jackson, and Dixon (collectively, "parent plaintiffs") of their right to control the education of their children, as guaranteed by substantive due process and the constitutions
390.

14
15 16
17

of California andthe United States. Meyers v. Nebraska

(1923) 262

U,S.

Because the District has announced that it will close Santa Fe and has failed to for parents to visit their children's newly-assigned schools, it has rights. Because the District's school closure parents and guardians, it should be

provide transportation threatened

18
19

parent plaintiffs' fundamental

20
21

policy disproportionately

impacts African-American

enjoined from fulfilling the announced closures. THIRD CLAIM FOR RELIEF (All Plaintiffs) (Education Code §§ 200,201, and

22 23

220) 1through

24
25

54. Plaintiffs reallege and fully incorporate herein paragraphs

53, above,

26
27 28

55. By virtue of the foregoing, the District has violated its duties under the Education Code, §§ 200, impermissibly
201, and 220.

Because the District's school closure policy students by

discriminates

against North Oakland African-American

Pecot v. Smith, No.
"\T Drifip;l

I'n:rYlnl ~lnt

fr.r

f)D(>l"'r~tr.r"

T n;l1Yl(>tl"\TP ~nrl nthpr

"R ",1 1 ",f

1

subjecting them to increased travel burdens and inferior special education programs, arid because the District's policy deprives North Oakland African-American parents of their right to control their children's education, the District has violated its duties under the Education Code. Therefore, the closure of Santa Fe should be enjoined. FOURTH CLAIM FOR RELIEF (Plaintiffs Pecot, Howze, Jackson, and Dixon) (Code of Civil Procedure §526(a): Waste of Public Funds) 56. Plaintiffs reallege and fully incorporate herein paragraphs
1through

2
3 4 5 6 7

8
9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19

55, above.

57. By virtue of the foregoing, the District has threatened to waste public funds by closing a school campus that has received hundreds of thousands of dollars in investments over the last twelve months. In order to avoid the waste of precious public

.resources, including the over $700,000 in public funds that the District spent to improve and renovate the Santa Fe campus, this Court should enjoin the threatened school closure. FIFI'H CLAIM FOR RELIEF (Plaintiffs Pecot, Howze, Jackson, and Dixon) (CEQA) 58. Plaintiffs reallege and fully incorporate herein paragraphs
1 through

57, above.

20
21

59. By virtue of the foregoing, the District has violated its duties under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), Pub. Resources Code, §§ 21000, et seq. Because

22 23
24

the District's school closure policy since June 2004 has led to a cumulative negative impact on public health and public safety, the District is not exempt from CEQA . reporting and public notice requirements. required environmental Because the District has failed to conduct the

25

26
27
28

studies to investigate the cumulative impact of the school

closure policy, the decision to close Santa Fe is unlawful, and should be enjoined.

,\T <ll·ifiprl ""'TYlT'>l",inT

Pecot v. Smith, No.

fA>'

Tl"' .... 1.......... r-, ......r T.,~n ......... + -h·lTO'

.., -t-t

rl (\+1-.0. ... P al~,,+

1
2 3 4

IRREPARABLE INJURY 60. Plaintiffs are now severely and irreparably injured by the District's school closure policy, a policy that violates the Equal Protection rights of the California Constitution, as well as the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments Constitution, Sections Environmental
200, 201,

-

5 6
7

of the United States

and

220

of'the Education Code, the California

Quality Act (CEQA), Pub. Resources Code, §§ 21000, et seq., andthe

8
9
10 11 12

prohibition against waste of public funds, made actionable by Code of Civil Procedure § 526(a). Minor plaintiffs are threatened with increased travel burdens and deprivation of special education services. Parent plaintiffs are threatened with lack of access to their children's newly-assigned schools, and deprivation of their ability to control their children's education. Plaintiffs' injuries will be redressed only if this Court declares the

13

14 15
16 17

District's school closure policy unlawful and enjoins defendants from closing Santa Fe.
61.

An actual and judicially cognizable controversy exists between plaintiffs and

defendant regarding whether the District's school closure policy violates the California Constitution, the United States Constitution, the Education Code, the California Environmental Quality Act, and the prohibition against waste of public resources. The

18 19 20
21

District is currently enforcing its school closure policy to the detriment of plaintiffs.

22 23
24

/ /1
///

25

26
27

28

//1

'T M·ifip,-l

Pecot v. Smith, No.
I'.--.TIlnl.:l;nt

frH npf'15lT'51t'--'''H
O

Tnlnnf't;up

511"1.rl thp,.. n

R pli""f

PRAYER

2
3 4 5 6 7

WHEREFORE, plaintiffs pray for judgment against defendants Anthony Smith and Board of Education on each of the aforementioned Court grant them relief as follows:
1.

claims. Plaintiffs request this

A declaratory judgment, pursuant to California Code of Civil Procedure section
1060,

holding that:

s
9

a. The District's school closure policy violates the rights of African-American students at Santa Fe to basic educational equity, as guaranteed by the Equal Protection provisions of the California Constitution, by subjecting the students to burdensome travel requirements education students of essential services; b. The District's school closure policy violates the rights of African-American parents at Santa Fe to control their children's education, as guaranteed Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments of the United States Constitution, by by and by depriving special

10
11

12
13

14

15
16 17

18 19
20 21

denying the parents access to their children's newly-assigned schools; c. The District's school closure policy violates the rights of African-American parents and students at Santa Fe under Sections
200, 201,

and

220

of the

Education Code by subjecting students to increased travel burdens and a deprivation of special education programs and by depriving parents of their right to control their children's education; d. The District's school closure policy violates the prohibition against waste of public funds, as enforced by Code of Civil Procedure § 526(a), by threatening the closure of Santa Fe after investing hundreds of thousands

22
23

24
25

26
27
28

of dollars in the Santa Fe campus over the last twelve months; and

Pecot v. Smith, No.
""'t

T __..

:..c.-.. _]

n.

1 ...... ..:: ........... £

T"'\. __

1 .... __

.1..

T__..:... . ~__ --t..-.::_ __

..-. ......

..J

1\-1 ... 1

T\ .... 1!

..... .£

_r

e. The District's school closure policy violates the California Environmental
2 3

Quality Act Pub. Resources Code, §§ 21000, et seq, because the District's school closure policy since June
2004

4
5

has led to a cumulative negative

impact on public health and public safety, and because the District has failed to conduct the required environmental negative environmental
2.

6
7
8

studies to investigate the

impacts of the school closure policy.

Injunctive relief including a preliminary injunction and a permanent injunction against defendants Smith and Board of Education enjoining enforcement of the school closure policy in whole or in part, and enjoining the closure of Santa Fe;

9

10
11

12
13

3. Attorneys' fees; 4. Costs of suit; and 5· Such other and further relief as the Court may deem proper.

14

15 16
17 18

Dated: March

29, 20112

SIEGEL&YEE

19
20

21 22 23

Attorneys for Plaintiffs THERESA PECOT, et al.

24 25

26
27

28

Pecot v. Smith, No.
"'tT_-=C_..:I ,.---,

l_~_

a,

r

1"'\ __

1

-'-

T_~.

.__~_.

..:I 1\_,__1. __

n_l~_-C

1

VERIFICATION I, THEARSE PECOT, declare as follows: I am a plaintiff in this action. I have read the foregoing Verified Complaint for Declaratory, Injunctive, and Other Relief and know the contents thereof. The same is true of my personal knowledge except where stated on information and belief and, as to such matters, I believe it to be true. I declare under penalty of perjury that the foregoing is true and correct. Executed on March 28; 2012, at Oakland, California.

2 3 4 5

6
7

8
9

10
11
12 13

Thearse Pecot

14

15
16 17 18

19
20 21 22

23
24

25

26
27 28

Pecot v. Smith, No.
",{T __

':C ...... r't .:..l

l_~

__ ...L..J:

...,,_

1- __

,_..r.

T __ ~

].~_.

11\..1

,-,.

r

You're Reading a Free Preview

Download
scribd
/*********** DO NOT ALTER ANYTHING BELOW THIS LINE ! ************/ var s_code=s.t();if(s_code)document.write(s_code)//-->