Students negotiating with McKeesport Area School District over Black Student Union |
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Jamie Martines

Students who sued the McKeesport Area School District after they were not allowed to form a Black Student Union club are in talks with the district about a potential resolution, the American Civil Liberties Union of Pennsylvania announced on behalf of the students Monday.

The 11 students filed a federal civil rights lawsuit April 10, alleging that the district violated students’ First Amendment rights by repeatedly denying their efforts to form the club.

The district and Superintendent Mark Holtzman are named as defendants.

District officials were not immediately available for comment Monday.

The ACLU of Pennsylvania is representing the students and expects more information to be available by the end of the week, according to a statement.

The club would be open to all students and would take on issues involving race and the treatment of students of color in the district, according to a statement from the ACLU of Pennsylvania.

McKeesport Area High School serves about 1,070 students in grades nine through 12.

About 43 percent of high school students identify as black, and about 45 percent identify as white, according to state Department of Education data.

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