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Mother of former Quaker Valley student files discrimination suit

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Tuesday, Sept. 17, 2013, 12:33 p.m.

The mother of a former Quaker Valley School District elementary student filed a federal civil rights lawsuit accusing staff and administrators of discriminating against her son because he was the only black student in his Osborne Elementary School classroom.

In the suit, Shinic Davis, whose address was not available, said district Superintendent Joseph Clapper, Assistant Superintendent Heidi Ondek and Osborne Principal Barbara Mellett ignored her attempts to have the situation investigated.

In a statement, Quaker Valley solicitor Patrick Clair said district officials were aware of Davis' allegations.

“Quaker Valley works diligently with families to meet the individual needs of each child and all children, and it has attempted to do so with Ms. Davis,” Clair said. “It is unfortunate that she holds such a negative view of the district and its personnel.”

Davis could not be reached for comment. Her attorney, Edward Olds, did not respond to a message seeking comment.

In the lawsuit filed last week in U.S. District Court in Pittsburgh, Davis said during the 2011-12 school year, her then-second-grade son was physically isolated from other students in class and singled out for discipline.

The harassment of her son increased as she kept pushing the issue, the lawsuit said. Davis removed her son from Osborne Elementary at the end of the school year and placed him in a private school, the lawsuit said.

Osborne Elementary School had 12 black students in an enrollment of 221, according to state records.

Bobby Cherry is an associate editor for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-324-1408

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