DALLAS, TX – Today, the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF), the nation’s leading Latino legal organization, starts the trial of its case against the Dallas Independent School District (DISD) and school officials. The case alleges that Preston Hollow Elementary School administrators purposefully assigned students to classrooms on the basis of race in order to keep Anglo students separate from Latinos.

“Fifty years after Brown v. Board of Education, Preston Hollow wants to give Latino students a separate education,” said David Hinojosa, MALDEF staff attorney and lead counsel in the case. “Racial segregation in school is a stain on our society and cannot be tolerated” Hinojosa added.

On behalf of parents, students and a Latino parents group, Organizaciόn para el Futuro de los Estudiantes (OFE), MALDEF will present witness testimony, including testimony by teachers and administrators at Preston Hollow showing that the school illegally assigns Latino students to its English as a Second Language program even when those students are fluent English speakers, in order to segregate Latino students from Anglo students. Preston Hollow organizes its general education classes and even combines some grades to ensure that Anglo students, who comprise just 18 percent of the school, sit in majority white classrooms. The school maintains this racial segregation even in music, art and physical education classes.

“MALDEF will continue to fight school segregation to ensure that Latino children learn in integrated classrooms,” said MALDEF Southwest Regional Counsel, Nina Perales.

The case is being heard by Judge Sam Lindsey in the in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas, Dallas Division. The court is expected to render a decision within the next 3 weeks.