PINELLAS COUNTY, Fla.—A first-of-its-kind class-action lawsuit in Pinellas County, Fla., could force the local school board to reveal how it teaches and disciplines its 20,000 black students, who struggle academically in disproportionate numbers to students of other races.
“Public education, to me personally, is specifically set up to dumb us down,” said William Crowley, who filed the lawsuit.
Crowley said the white-run school system allowed his son to fall behind. His remedy doesn’t call for monetary remuneration. Instead, he said he wants the system fixed.
“The facts are overwhelming and not just in Pinellas County, but nationwide, there is a high failure rate of black students across this country,” Crowley said.
The lawsuit cites a consistent gap between black and white high-school graduates in Pinellas County. The class failure rate is more than twice as high among blacks. Discipline problems are 39 percent more frequent than with white students.