An Orleans Parish Civil District Court judge granted a temporary injunction to allow students to walk at their graduation.
The order issued by Judge Christopher Bruno unfortuantely came too late for the students who were banned as a result of a senior prank/water gun fight held on school grounds. Students who participated were banned from all senior activities, including prom and graduation.
Victor M. Jones, supervising attorney for the Sourthern Poverty Law Center issued a statement on the ruling, saying:
“All too often students are excluded from their classrooms, schools and important life events because of harsh and unfair school discipline practices. To combat those kinds of practices, we asked the court in New Orleans to issue an injunction to allow a group of students from Sophoe B. Wright Charter School to participate in their high school graduation – an injunction that was granted this morning. The court’s decision is a welcome reprieve from the kinds of widespread and arbitrary discipline practices that violate a student’s due process rights. Even though the order was issued too late to let these brave students walk this morning, we could not sit by and not try while these students and their families missed a once-in-a-lifetime event without having been given the opportunity to explain what happened, and ignorung the cost of that punishment to their lives and futures.
“These kinds of due process violations are still too frequent in New Orleans and across this county. They harm all children, but students of color and students with disabilities are disproportionately the victims of these punitive, unjust practices.”
The graduation took place at 9 a.m., just 15 minutes after the injunction was issued.