Spring Valley NAACP lawsuit against East Ramapo schools to go to trial

Posted: Updated:

A federal judge in White Plains ruled Tuesday that she will not dismiss a lawsuit filed by the Spring Valley NAACP against the East Ramapo Central School District, setting up a trial in February.

The lawsuit alleges that the way the district's school board members are currently elected keeps African American and Latino residents off the board. According to the NAACP, minorities make up more than 90% of public school students.

Instead, the lawsuit says the school board favors members of the white, Hasidic population, which primarily sends its children to private schools or yeshivas.

RELATED: NYCLU files suit against East Ramapo Central S.D. over voting practices 

An attorney for the New York Civil Liberties Union tells News 12 they are pleased by the decision to send the case to trial, saying in a statement, "We remain committed to ensuring that minority voters have an equal opportunity to participate in the political process and a fair chance to elect their candidates of choice in East Ramapo."

No members of the school board could be reached for comment. In a previous statement, East Ramapo School Board President Harry Grossman told the media that voting in the district has nothing to do with race.

“The real purpose of the lawsuit is to promote candidates whose tax, political and educational policies the plaintiffs prefer over those supported by the overwhelming majority of voters in the district, irrespective of race,” says Grossman.

The next school board election in East Ramapo will take place in May, where three members of the board will be chosen.

sorry to interrupt
your first 20 are free
Access to News 12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Spectrum Networks® and Service ElectricSM customers.
Please enjoy 20 complimentary views of articles, photos, and videos during the next 30 days.
you have reached your 20 view limit
Access to News 12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Spectrum Networks® and Service ElectricSM customers.
Please login or create an account to continue enjoying News12.
Our sign-up page is undergoing maintenance and is not currently available. However, you will be given direct access to news12.com while we complete our upgrade.
When we are back up and running you will be prompted at that time to complete your sign in. Until then, enjoy the local news, weather, traffic and more that's "as local as local news gets."