Hispanics Claim: Latino discrimination in Jefferson schools

NEW ORLEANS (AP) - The Southern Poverty Law Center says Jefferson Parish public schools discriminate against Latino students by letting employees harass students about their citizenship and by failing to provide translators for parents who speak little English.

For instance, it says on its website, officials at West Jefferson High School took no action against a teacher who called a student a "wetback" during class and did not move the boy out of that class.

And, it says, a woman whose three children are in the school system has given up attending parent-teacher conferences or school open houses because she cannot understand what is being said.

A civil rights complaint was filed Wednesday with the federal education and justice departments on behalf of 16 Latino students and their families.