On March 11th, 2008, the ACLU of Georgia, in conjunction with the ACLU, filed a class action lawsuit against the Atlanta Independent School System (AISS) and Community Education Partners (CEP). The lawsuit alleged that CEP, a for-profit corporation running the city's alternative school, Forest Hills Academy, was violating the students' right to an adequate public education. Forest Hills Academy was among the most dangerous and lowest-performing schools in Georgia. The academy was designed as a privately-run, taxpayer-funded alternative middle and high school for students with behaviorial problems. However, the placement process was often arbitrary and assigned students were given few opportunities to challenge their placement. The lawsuit also alleged the constitutionality of AISS's referral process, disciplinary policies, and other policies.

A settlement for this lawsuit was reached on December 14th, 2009 with AISS. CEP was dropped from the lawsuit in July 2009 when AISS severed its contract with CEP. As part of the settlement, AISS agreed to monitor Forest Hills Academy through 2011 for compliance with new guidelines for its placement process, its disciplinary policies, its school seach policies, and its educational environment. The ACLU of Georgia works hard to protect the rights of students and to dismantle the School-to-Prison Pipeline by taking on issues such as this one.

Initial Press Release of the Lawsuit
Press Release Regarding Dropping CEP from Lawsuit
Press Release Regarding Case Settlement

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