Long v. Fulton Cnty. Sch. Dist., Civil Action No. 1:10–cv–3033–TCB.

CourtUnited States District Courts. 11th Circuit. United States District Courts. 11th Circuit. Northern District of Georgia
Writing for the CourtTIMOTHY C. BATTEN
Citation807 F.Supp.2d 1274,275 Ed. Law Rep. 861
PartiesMarlene Thompson LONG, Vincent Long, and Christina Long, Plaintiffs, v. FULTON COUNTY SCHOOL DISTRICT, Defendant.
Decision Date04 August 2011
Docket NumberCivil Action No. 1:10–cv–3033–TCB.

275 Ed. Law Rep. 861
807 F.Supp.2d 1274

Marlene Thompson LONG, Vincent Long, and Christina Long, Plaintiffs,
v.
FULTON COUNTY SCHOOL DISTRICT, Defendant.

Civil Action No. 1:10–cv–3033–TCB.

United States District Court, N.D. Georgia, Atlanta Division.

Aug. 4, 2011.


[807 F.Supp.2d 1277]

Rory K. Starkey, The Starkey Law Firm, LLC, Atlanta, GA, for Plaintiffs.

Randall C. Farmer, Brock Clay Calhoun & Rogers, LLC, Marietta, GA, for Defendant.

ORDER
TIMOTHY C. BATTEN, SR., District Judge.

This matter is before the Court on the motion of Defendant Fulton County School District (“FCSD”) for judgment on the pleadings [29].

I. Factual Background 1

Plaintiffs are Marlene and Vincent Long (the “Longs”) and their daughter, Christina Long. They complain that over the course of three and a half years, FCSD employees engaged in a pattern of pervasive and continuous discriminatory actions against Christina, who is a student in FCSD schools.

A. Christina's Schooling in New York

Before the Longs moved to Georgia in 2005, they lived in New York. In June 2004, then-three-year-old Christina took an IQ test that identified her as “intellectually gifted.” One year later, Christina completed kindergarten at the Pat–Kam School, a private school in New York.

In October 2005, the Longs were considering moving to Alpharetta, Georgia due to Mrs. Long's pending job transfer, and they wanted Christina to be enrolled at Manning Oaks Elementary, a school in FCSD's district. The Longs delivered a letter to Deanna Rogers, Manning Oaks's curriculum support teacher (“CST”), indicating that Christina had already completed kindergarten and was enrolled in the first grade at the Pat–Kam School. Ms. Rogers refused to accept Christina's prior test results or data from the Pat–Kam School in determining Christina's placement. She stated that Christina, who had just turned five years old,2 was too young for the first grade and should instead be enrolled in kindergarten.

The Longs found this unacceptable. They decided to delay their move to Georgia and transferred Christina to a public school in New York in order to solidify her eligibility to enroll in the first grade upon moving to Georgia. In December 2005, the Longs withdrew Christina from her public school in New York and moved to Alpharetta.

B. The Second Half of Christina's First–Grade Year (Manning Oaks Elementary School)

On January 9, 2006, Christina, who was then five years and three months old, was enrolled in the first grade at Manning Oaks, despite Ms. Rogers's opposition and objection. The Longs allege that although Ms. Rogers assured them that Christina

[807 F.Supp.2d 1278]

would not be assessed immediately, she was in fact assessed on her first day at Manning Oaks. On January 16, in a meeting with Elizabeth Maury, Christina's first grade teacher, the Longs learned that Christina had been placed in “on level” reading, despite assessments made in New York that showed she was reading at a second-grade level. The Longs asked to view Christina's assessment but were permitted to view only the cover sheet (the results) of the assessment. Mrs. Long asked again in February to see the actual reading assessment, and her request was again denied.

In mid-February 2006, the Longs learned that the Criterion–Referenced Competency Test (“CRCT”) was going to be administered, and they asked Ms. Maury to provide information about what curriculum had been covered during the first half of the school year, prior to Christina's enrollment at Manning Oaks. When Ms. Maury did not provide the requested information, the Longs contacted Sharon Reinig, the principal of Manning Oaks, who provided the information on or about March 15.

On March 20, the Longs learned that a student's assessment results determined which of three math groups the student would be placed in. They contacted Ms. Maury to ask about the distinction between the three math groups and to request to see Christina's math assessment. They were informed that Christina scored 32/40 on her assessment and had been placed in math level 1.2. The Longs contend that they learned two years later that 1.2 was not a class placement level and that Christina's actual level was never disclosed.

Christina successfully completed the first grade. From the time she enrolled at Manning Oaks in January 2006 until the end of the school year, the Longs were not informed about the availability of a talented and gifted (“TAG”) program, and Christina was not tested for that program.

C. Christina's Second–Grade Year

In August 2006, Christina began her second-grade year at Manning Oaks, where she was placed in Ms. Porter's class. In December 2006 or January 2007, the Longs met with Ms. Porter and were shown Christina's math assessment, on which she scored a 23%. They claim that the assessment was shown to them as an indicator of areas Christina needed to work on, but they later learned that the assessments were used in connection with determining students' placements for the current or upcoming school years. On January 31, 2007, the Longs asked Ms. Porter about Christina's reading and language-arts assessment and were informed that she scored 41/50, or on-level. Again, Manning Oaks did not test Christina for the TAG program during her second-grade year.

D. Christina's Third–Grade Year

The Longs claim to have had two conversations with school officials prior to her matriculation into the third grade at the beginning of the 2007–08 school year. First, in May 2007 they requested that Christina be assigned a seasoned and mature third-grade teacher. Then, in July they called the school to advise that Christina would be starting school a day or two late. They informed school personnel that they would not be able to attend meet-the-teacher night, but they wanted to receive assurance that she had in fact been assigned a teacher. They claim that front office personnel assured them that Christina was assigned a teacher consistent with their request for experience. However, by the time Christina arrived at Manning Oaks on the third day of the school year, she had been placed on the

[807 F.Supp.2d 1279]

“no-show” list and not assigned a teacher. She spoke to Ms. Rogers, who told Christina that the Longs should have spoken to her.

Christina was eventually placed in Ashley Rolader's third-grade class. Ms. Rolader had two years' experience teaching, and the Longs contend that Ms. Rogers assigned Christina an inexperienced teacher in retaliation for the Longs' complaints. They contend that Ms. Rogers informed them in a sarcastic and mocking tone that although Christina had originally been assigned a more mature teacher, “because the Longs failed to check in with her and clear things, Christina now had a not so mature and not so experienced teacher.” Ms. Rogers refused to identify or assign the more mature teacher to whom Christina was originally assigned.

In August 2007, the Longs arranged a parent-teacher conference with Ms. Rolader, during which they articulated their commitment to working with the teacher as a team and their desire to be proactively involved in Christina's education. In October, at another meeting with Ms. Rolader, Mrs. Long expressed concern about Christina's placement and stated that Christina was not being challenged by the vocabulary and spelling words. Ms. Rolader confirmed that Christina's placement was designated “support,” which is the same classification given students who are at risk of not reaching or maintaining their grade level and who are sent out of the classroom for extra help. Christina, however, did not require extra help. Ms. Rolader agreed to give her more challenging vocabulary and spelling words and to place her in the on-level group at the beginning of the second quarter. Immediately following the October 2007 parent-teacher conference, Mrs. Long had a conversation with Ms. Porter, Christina's second-grade teacher, in which Ms. Porter stated that at the end of Christina's second-grade year she had recommended on-level placement for reading and math.

Sometime after October 2007, the Longs began making requests for the guidelines used for determining student placement. According to the complaint, the Longs made specific requests to Ms. Rogers, assistant superintendent of curriculum and instruction Dr. Patty Rooks, and all members of the Fulton County School Board, but nobody ever produced any guidelines. Finally, on January 14, 2008, in a meeting among the Longs, principal Reinig, Dr. Rooks, and area superintendent Randee Nagler, area superintendent Nagler admitted that no such placement guidelines existed.

Shortly thereafter, to justify Christina's placement, Ms. Rogers presented documents that intentionally excluded Christina's perfect language arts grades and that the Longs claim were doctored to include Christina's first-grade rather than second-grade CRCT scores. Ms. Rogers presented a document purporting to show that Christina scored 39/50, or below-level, on her second-grade reading and language arts assessment, even though Ms. Porter had told the Longs in January 2007 that Christina had scored 41/50, or on-level, on the same assessment. The Longs contend that the document Ms. Rogers presented was forged and/or altered. When Mrs. Long asked to see Christina's school work and writing samples, principal Reinig informed her that first-grade and second-grade work was destroyed and refused to turn over other original school work by Christina, although Mrs. Long did meet with Ms. Rolader and Ms. Rogers to review Christina's writing samples.

In May 2008, Ms. Rolader started sending home negative behavioral comments about Christina. Mrs. Long requested to observe Ms. Rolader's class, but principal Reinig denied the request, claiming that

[807 F.Supp.2d 1280]

such an observation would be disruptive. The Longs also allege that Ms. Rolader was eventually instructed not to respond to their correspondence without prior permission from principal Reinig or...

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  • Williams v. Fulton Cnty. Sch. Dist., CIVIL ACTION NO. 1:14-CV-0296-AT
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 11th Circuit. United States District Courts. 11th Circuit. Northern District of Georgia
    • 31 Marzo 2016
    ...procedure does not necessarily equate to a due process violation under the federal constitution." Long v. Fulton Cty. Sch. Dist. , 807 F.Supp.2d 1274, 1289 (N.D.Ga.2011) (citing Harris v. Birmingham Bd. of Educ., 817 F.2d 1525, 1528 (11th Cir.1987). However, students 181 F.Supp.3d 1131......
  • D.D.T. v. Rockdale Cnty. Pub. Sch., CIVIL ACTION NO. 1:20-cv-4666-AT
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 11th Circuit. United States District Courts. 11th Circuit. Northern District of Georgia
    • 30 Septiembre 2021
    ...is well settled that punitive damages are not available against a government entity." Long v. Fulton Cnty. Sch. Dist. , 807 F. Supp. 2d 1274, 1290 (N.D. Ga. 2011) ; see City of Newport v. Fact Concerts, Inc. , 453 U.S. 247, 271, 101 S. Ct. 2748, 69 L.Ed.2d 616 (1981) ("a municipal......
  • Ritchie v. Coldwater Cmty. Sch., Case Nos. 1:11–CV–530
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 6th Circuit. United States District Court (Western District Michigan)
    • 22 Mayo 2013
    ...v. Fact Concerts, Inc., 453 U.S. 247, 271, 101 S.Ct. 2748, 2762, 69 L.Ed.2d 616 (1981); see also Long v. Fulton Cnty. Sch. Dist., 807 F.Supp.2d 1274, 1290 (N.D.Ga.2011) (“FDSD, a public school district, undoubtedly falls within the scope of [City of Newport ].”). Therefore, [947 F.Supp.2d 8......
  • Prete v. Roger Williams Univ. Sch. of Law, Civil No. 12-cv-474-JL
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 1st Circuit. United States District Courts. 1st Circuit. District of New Hampshire
    • 12 Diciembre 2012
    ...a limited private right of action to seek injunctive relief in federal district court. See, e.g., Long v. Fulton County Sch. Dist., 807 F. Supp. 2d 1274, 1286 (N.D. Ga. 2011); Rannels v. Hargrove, 731 F. Supp. 1214, 1219-20 (E.D. Pa. 1990). The court has not found, and the parties have not ......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
16 cases
  • Williams v. Fulton Cnty. Sch. Dist., CIVIL ACTION NO. 1:14-CV-0296-AT
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 11th Circuit. United States District Courts. 11th Circuit. Northern District of Georgia
    • 31 Marzo 2016
    ...procedure does not necessarily equate to a due process violation under the federal constitution." Long v. Fulton Cty. Sch. Dist. , 807 F.Supp.2d 1274, 1289 (N.D.Ga.2011) (citing Harris v. Birmingham Bd. of Educ., 817 F.2d 1525, 1528 (11th Cir.1987). However, students 181 F.Supp.3d 1131......
  • D.D.T. v. Rockdale Cnty. Pub. Sch., CIVIL ACTION NO. 1:20-cv-4666-AT
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 11th Circuit. United States District Courts. 11th Circuit. Northern District of Georgia
    • 30 Septiembre 2021
    ...is well settled that punitive damages are not available against a government entity." Long v. Fulton Cnty. Sch. Dist. , 807 F. Supp. 2d 1274, 1290 (N.D. Ga. 2011) ; see City of Newport v. Fact Concerts, Inc. , 453 U.S. 247, 271, 101 S. Ct. 2748, 69 L.Ed.2d 616 (1981) ("a municipal......
  • Ritchie v. Coldwater Cmty. Sch., Case Nos. 1:11–CV–530
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 6th Circuit. United States District Court (Western District Michigan)
    • 22 Mayo 2013
    ...v. Fact Concerts, Inc., 453 U.S. 247, 271, 101 S.Ct. 2748, 2762, 69 L.Ed.2d 616 (1981); see also Long v. Fulton Cnty. Sch. Dist., 807 F.Supp.2d 1274, 1290 (N.D.Ga.2011) (“FDSD, a public school district, undoubtedly falls within the scope of [City of Newport ].”). Therefore, [947 F.Supp.2d 8......
  • Prete v. Roger Williams Univ. Sch. of Law, Civil No. 12-cv-474-JL
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 1st Circuit. United States District Courts. 1st Circuit. District of New Hampshire
    • 12 Diciembre 2012
    ...a limited private right of action to seek injunctive relief in federal district court. See, e.g., Long v. Fulton County Sch. Dist., 807 F. Supp. 2d 1274, 1286 (N.D. Ga. 2011); Rannels v. Hargrove, 731 F. Supp. 1214, 1219-20 (E.D. Pa. 1990). The court has not found, and the parties have not ......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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