Ed. Dept. to probe arrests at Jefferson schools

NEW ORLEANS (AP) - The U.S. Department of Education says it will investigate allegations by a civil rights group that black students in Jefferson Parish are being arrested at a disproportionate rate.

The Education Department's Office for Civil Rights says it will look into a complaint filed by the Southern Poverty Law Center.

In January, the group filed a complaint on behalf of four black students and their families accusing Jefferson Parish public schools officials of handing over student disciplinary authority to armed law-enforcement officers who aren't properly trained to work in schools.

The center wants the Education Department to make the parish school board overhaul its school arrest policies and practices.

The school district said it was taking the matter "very seriously."

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