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Fisher v. United States

United States District Court, D. Arizona

August 6, 2019

Roy and Josie Fisher, et al., Plaintiffs,
v.
United States of America, Plaintiff-Intervenor,
v.
Anita Lohr, et al., Defendants, and Sidney L. Sutton, et al., Defendants-Intervenors, Maria Mendoza, et al., Plaintiffs, United States of America, Plaintiff-Intervenor,
v.
Tucson Unified School District No. One, et al., Defendants.

          SPECIAL MASTER'S REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION WITH RESPECT TO INCLUSIVENESS AND CIVILITY

          Willis D. Hawley Special Master

         Introduction

          On April 22, 2019, the Court ordered the District to provide a supplemental notice of compliance dealing with inclusiveness and school climates of civility.

         On July 1, 2019 the District submitted the requested notice and on July 12 the Mendoza plaintiffs filed objections to the District notice. The themes of these objections are:

1. The District has failed to assess the efficacy of particular strategies it is implementing with respect to inclusiveness and civility as ordered by the Court.
2. The District is using strategies not supported by research.
3. The District failed to develop a specific professional learning plan for District staff as ordered by the Court.[1]
4. The District did not, despite direction by the Court, identify particular strategies that it would implement in the future, if needed.

         Analysis

         Assessment of existing strategies

         The District did not undertake an assessment of each of its own practices but argued that the efficacy of those practices is demonstrated (a) by the research showing that inclusiveness and the absence of bullying in comparison to national data cited by the Special Master and (b) a review of published studies in other Districts.

         It would be extraordinarily difficult to conduct the study mandated by the Court for the following reasons:

1. In most schools in the District, three or four of the strategies are being implemented simultaneously. It is, therefore, difficult to determine the relative ...

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