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New York Schools Facing Lawsuit Over Allegations Of Segregation

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- A major lawsuit was filed Tuesday, claiming New York's school system is segregated and harming children.

A group of students and advocates are suing the city and the state.

Web Extra: Click here to read the lawsuit

CJ, a 17-year-old junior at Brooklyn Technical, said his specialized high school is a perfect example of racial inequity in education.

"The school that is 60% Asian, 20% white, 7% Latinx and 6% Black in a school system that's 70% Black and Latinx," he told CBS2's Hazel Sanchez on Tuesday.

He has joined a group of students and integration advocates suing for a more inclusive education system.

Among their demands is for the city to eliminate the "Gifted and Talented" program and middle and high school admission screening.

They argue the city's current process is racially discriminatory and its curriculum marginalizes people of color, adding an education that identifies and dismantles racism is their constitutional right.

"There's a gap between what is provided for white students and what's provided for minority students and that gap needs to be closed," another student said.

Mayor Bill de Blasio and new Schools Chancellor Meisha Ross Porter are among the defendants named in the suit. Both said they're working together to combat school segregation.

"We need to create more diversification in our schools. It can be done and there's a right way to do it, which involves bringing parents in and working with them as a way forward," de Blasio said.

Some parents who are advocating for accelerated learning said the city should expand not remove Gifted and Talented programs. They suggest universal in-school placement testing for all.

"Provide an accelerated program in every school, on every grade. It doesn't cost anything more," parent Deborah Alexander said.

"Getting rid of the few schools and programs that we have that provide that education, make school better for nobody, and makes it worse for the kids who are missing out on an education that meets their needs," said Maud Maron of PLACE NYC.

The students suing disagree. Their lawyer said he'll bring the case to court if the city doesn't respond.

The lawsuit also calls on the city to adopt programs that will improve the recruitment and retention of administrators, teachers and other school staff of color.

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