Watch CBS News

East Ramapo School District Sued Over What Some Call Systemic Racism

RAMAPO, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) – The East Ramapo School District, which is already being monitored by the state, is now facing a federal lawsuit over what some call systemic racism.

Parent Eric Goodwin told WCBS 880's Alex Silverman he had to hire a tutor for his 12-year-old son.

"I am fortunate that I can afford what the district cannot provide, but many of my neighbors cannot," he said.

When Goodwin tried to run for the school board to stop the budget cuts, his chances were almost nonexistent, because the entire board is elected at large.

"(That) has allowed the district's white majority, whose children do not attend the public schools and who have proven themselves hostile to the public schools, to hijack the board of education," said Donna Lieberman, executive director of the New York Civil Liberties Union.

The lawsuit claims it is a violation of the federal Voting Rights Act.

"It's a shame of New York State. A tale of two school systems reminiscent of the worst racial segregation of the deep south," Lieberman said.

East Ramapo School District spokesperson Patricia Lynch told Silverman "election law here in New York State is determined by the state."

"We're going to reserve any kind of official comment until our lawyers have the ability to review the specific papers, but I want your viewers and listeners to know that election law here in New York State is determined by the state," she said. "So if there is a desire to change the election law, one would have to go to Albany and get a change in state law."


View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.