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Brownsville School District Ordered to Mediation

Thursday, February, 28, 2019

The Brownsville Independent School District and a state district judge have been ordered to try to resolve their dispute through mediation. The attempt to mediate was ordered by a federal judge in McAllen after the state judge filed a lawsuit on behalf of her children against the district.


Judge Elia Cornejo-Lopez filed the suit against the district in November 2017 and was acting as a parent of a student in the district, but is also the 404th state District Judge. The lawsuit was determined to be appropriate for mediation by US District Judge Ricardo H. Hinojosa in late January.


According to Hinojosa, "Counsel and parties shall endeavor in good faith to resolve the case through mediation.”


Cornejo-Lopez’s lawsuit accuses administrators from the district of mistreating her children. The trustees are also named in the lawsuit. The suit claims the actions against her children were performed in retaliation against her because she filed a grievance against the district. She claims the actions against her child violate his or her constitutional rights. According to Cornejo-Lopez, her child was kept from taking AP psychology while another child in a similar situation was permitted to enroll in an AP chemistry course.


The lawsuit also alleges that the district employees and/or trustees were in violation of the Federal Educational Records Privacy Act when they released private information about minor students to the public.


The case was eventually transferred out of Brownsville to McAllen after two judges overseeing the case refused it.


Though the attempt at mediation is mandatory, both sides are not required to agree to any resolutions created during the meeting and the issue might return to court.