Posted on June 28, 2011

Union City Schools to Pay $725,000 in Racial Suit

Bob Egelko, San Francisco Chronicle, June 24, 2011

A Union City school district has agreed to pay $725,000 to 12 African American students and their families who accused the district of failing to protect them from racial harassment and violence, including the fatal shooting of a 14-year-old classmate.


The suit alleged that the New Haven Unified School District had ignored years of complaints that the Decoto gang, mostly Latino, was entering campuses and attacking black students.

In December 2007, Vernon Eddins, who attended James Logan High School in Union City, was shot and killed on the steps of Barnard-White Middle School. Police described his attackers as young Latino men but have yet to make an arrest.

The lawsuit said three of the plaintiffs were with Eddins that day and had been chased and shot at by the same gang members. The suit also said the school district had been warned that African American students would be attacked on or near school grounds that day.

Another plaintiff was attacked by a Latino gang member in front of the high school principal’s office in April 2009, the suit said.

It said district officials have failed to take the students’ complaints seriously and have accused the youths of exaggerating or lying. {snip}


Rick La Plante, spokesman for the 13,000-student district, said its officials agreed to the settlement on the advice of their insurers and were not acknowledging any wrongdoing.