Lucas v. Henrico County Public Schools

Oct 11, 2011 by

On September 30, 2011, under the recommendation of Magistrate Judge M. Hannah Lauck,  federal court Judge Robert E. Payne of Richmond, Virginia’s  issued an order clearing the way for special educator, educational reformist, and civil rights activist Kandise Lucas to proceed with her lawsuit against  Henrico County Public Schools board members; Lamont Bagby, Diana Winston, Lisa Marshall, Linda McBride, and John Montgomery, for “abuse of process” in a $10 million dollar legal action that Lucas filed pro se, against the district  on January 4, 2011.

Attorneys for the school district, Andrew Newby and Tom Tokarz, who are also attorneys for the Henrico Commonwealth Attorney’s Office, attempted to have the forty-six page suit dismissed on several grounds for nearly a year, but were unsuccessful with their attempts. School board Attorney Melissa Velasquez was previously on the case, but was forced off by Lucas due to being a potential witness for the plaintiff, with the approval of Judge Payne, early on in the case.

Lucas issued a statement saying, ” I am so grateful to God, my family, and friends for providing me with the wisdom, courage, and relentless passion to pursue this matter in the name of justice for all children, parents, and educators that have no voice, no rights, and no humanity.   Judge Payne’s ruling is a win for every parent, student, educator, and activist that is facing the systematic abuse, neglect, and civil rights violations that have become common practices in our nation’s school districts.  I am especially thankful to God on their behalf.   Today, in Virginia,  as in other districts throughout our nation, we are experiencing a resurgence of the Jim Crow and Willie Lynch Eras in our schools, where the most basic and fundamental rights to speak, be safe, assemble, protest, make decisions regarding our children, and receive a quality education is a foreign concept that we, as people of color, economically-disadvantaged families, and families with special needs are denied by those that would rather pay tens of thousand of dollars to attorneys like Kathleen Mehfoud in order to cover up their abuse and neglect of our children then to correct the violations.   The Virginia Department of Education and Virginia’s elected officials have no desire to help our children because it is not politically beneficial for them…. yet.  The United States Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights is listening to us and has sent a team to Richmond to investigate the district-wide and systematic civil rights violations that the district’s leaders practice daily that make Osama Bin Laden look like a boy scout.   Our persistence, even in the face of threats, illegal bans, intimidation, retaliation, harassment etc.  is the driving force for justice on behalf of our children.  I am living proof that not only can we fight against corruption and abuse of our children and our families, I am living proof that we can win this fight if we stay true to what is right by putting our children first.  There is a revolution going on in Virginia that will not be silenced, intimidated, or stopped until EVERY child and EVERY family is educated with dignity and excellence.”

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