Eureka City Schools reaches settlement in racial discrimination lawsuit

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EUREKA- Eureka City Schools has settled in a lawsuit that claimed the district discriminated against Native American and African American students by failing to stop racial and sexual harassment.

The National Center for Youth Law and the American Civil Liberties Union of Northern California filed the suit in 2013. As part of the settlement, Eureka City Schools will implement programs designed to create a more positive and inclusive school environment. The district plans to enhance multi-cultural curricula and use the assistance of an Oregon-based research group to examine ways to improve the learning environment for all students.  The district will use a $3.5 million Federal School Climate Grant to implement these changes, but school officials say that grant was not acquired as a result of the lawsuit.

"As far as they allegations go, there was never any admission of guilt or any admission that these things actually happened and so we didn't focus on that.  We focused on, 'How do we move forward?  How do we address things that are concerning to students and potentially affecting their daily education in Eureka City Schools and how do we focus on making eureka city schools a safe learning environment for all students?'" said Superintendent Fred Van Vleck with Eureka City Schools.