Download full text
Download full text
ERIC Number: ED105720
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1974-Jan
Reference Count: 0
Equal Protection for Non-English-Speaking School Children: Lau v. Nichols.
Sugarman, Stephen D.; Widess, Ellen G.
California Law Review, v62 n1 Jan 1974
This is a commentary on Lau v. Nichols, in which the issue is stated as the constitutional right of non-English-speaking children to a meaningful public education. The principal legal argument of the plaintiffs is that the San Francisco school district's "English-only" policy denies them equal protection of the laws by placing non-English-speaking students in an educational environment not designed to educate them. Considerations are offered as to the manner in which various equal protection doctrines may be applied by the Supreme Court in this case. Decisions affecting educational discrimination against blacks are cited, as well as other decisions dealing with educational discrimination and constitutional rights. Consideration is also given to legal theories to which the plaintiff may have recourse. It is concluded that the argument that the English-only policy violates the Civil Rights Act of 1965 may be an alternative to the equal protection approach. The commentary concentrates on these underlying issues and policy considerations: (1) whether non-English-speaking children need judicial help; (2) what the extent and nature of the harm is; (3) reasons for the English-only policy; and (4) whether the problem is judicially manageable. It is noted that in the event of a victory in Lau, problems may arise in the form of efforts to circumvent the ruling or opposition from ethnic groups interested in ethnic culture preservation. (AM)
Descriptors: Asian Americans, Bilingual Education, Bilingual Schools, Educational Legislation, Educationally Disadvantaged, English (Second Language), Equal Education, Equal Protection, Ethnic Groups, Language Handicaps, Minority Groups, Non English Speaking, Supreme Court Litigation
Fred B. Rothman & Co., 57 Leuning Street, South Hackensack, New Jersey 07606
Publication Type: Journal Articles
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A